Rashad "Sugar" Evans pulls out a very impressive win over Chuck "Iceman" Liddell, which left fans stunned last night at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. The Iceman was a favorite prior to the bout, but Evans was the better man of the night as he claimed victory in round 2 of the main event.
Evans remains undefeated and improves his MMA record to 17-0-1 and his UFC record now stands at 7-0-1. Evans looked hesitant throughout the first round, being very cautious with every single step Liddell would take. The Iceman was the aggressor throughout most of the fight, constantly holding his right hand up in an obvious goal to knock him out. Every single time Liddell went for his usual laser punches, Evans would respond with a counter-attack. UFC fans were surprised at how well he matched up with Liddell in the stand-up game. Anything Liddell did, Rashad seemed to do better and he proved this to be true when he knocked him out cold with a solid right punch to Liddell’s face at 1:51 of Round 2. It was a scary sight for MMA fans watching this fight as the Iceman laid on the octagon floor for several minutes. During the televised pay-per-view event, the UFC showed a detailed replay of the knockout. Liddell’s face was hit so hard that his neck bent abnormally. Doctors rushed into the cage to assist the injured Liddell, but he was able to stand right up a few moments later.
Evans’ last fight was a win over Michael Bisping at UFC 78: Validation in November of 2007. It was hard to say what we could expect from him coming into this fight due to the long absence and the fact that he was fighting a former light heavyweight champion. Although it was the biggest test in his MMA career, Evans showed MMA fans what he is really made of. The happy Evans was content with his performance and states that he will wait patiently for his next opponent. Here’s what Evans had to say immediately after he defeated Liddell:
"Chuck is a great, great competitor…I’m just really happy right now…Hopefully [with this win, the UFC] puts me right up there (title shot position)…I’m just enjoying the ride. Wherever (the win) takes me, it takes me."
Not only did he defeat the former UFC light heavyweight champion, but
Dana White has officially been given a title shot against Forrest
Griffin most likely for either December 2008 or early 2009. Liddell was rumored to have a title shot if he defeated Evans, but now the tables have definitely turned as it seems like Sugar will have his chance at the light heavyweight belt.
Here’s a snip from UFC President Dana White:
"(UFC CEO) Lorenzo (Fertitta), (UFC matchmaker) Joe (Silva) and I got
together and thought yeah, he deserves the title shot…How could you
say, ‘No, he doesn’t deserve the shot’ after [the Liddell fight]?"
We’ll keep you guys posted with the expected date for the Rashad Evans vs. Forrest Griffin bout once we’re informed.
Here are the complete UFC 88: "Breakthrough" results:
- Chuck "Iceman" Liddell vs. Rashad "Sugar" Evans (Rashad Evans Wins by Knock Out at 1:51 in the 2nd round)
- Rich "Ace" Franklin vs. Matt "The Hammer" Hamill (Rich Franklin Wins by Technical Knock Out at 0:39 in the 3rd round)
- Dan "Hollywood" Henderson Vs. Rousimar "Toquinho" Palhares (Dan Henderson Wins by Unanimous Decision at 5:00 in the 3rd round)
- Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann Vs. Nate "The Great" Marquard (Nate Marquardt Wins by Technical Knock Out at 1:22 in the 1st round)
- Dong "Stun Gun" Hyun Kim Vs. Matt "The Immortal" Brown(Dong Hyun Kim Wins by Split Decision at 5:00 in the 3rd round)
Preliminary Fight Card:
- Thiago Tavares Vs. Kurt "Batman" Pellegrino(Kurt Pellegrino Wins by Unanimous Decision at 5:00 in the 3rd round)
- Tim "The Barbarian" Boetsch Vs. James Lee (Tim Boetsch Wins by Technical Knock Out at 2:03 in the 1st round)
- Jason Lambert vs. Jason MacDonald (Jason MacDonald Wins by Submission (Choke) at 1:20 in the 2nd round by rear naked)
- Roan "Jucao" Carneiro Vs. Ryo "Piranha" Chonan (Ryo Chonan Wins by Split Decision at 5:00 in the 3rd round)