UFC 108 Preview: Evans vs. Silva

Rashad Evans

Age: 30 (Born Sept 25, 1979)
Nickname: Sugar
Height: 5 ft 11 in
Weight: 205 lbs
Reach: 74.5 in

Primary Style of Fighting: Kickboxing
Secondary Style of Fighting: Wrestling
Fighting Out Of: Albuquerque, NM
Affiliation: Jackson’s Submission Fighting
Weight Class: Light Heavyweight (205 lbs), although has fought at Heavyweight previously
Organizations Fought In: UFC, Gladiator Challenge, Dangerzone

Fight Odds: -215 (subject to change)
Fight Odds Movement: Evans opened at -225
Overall Record: 13-1-1
Record in Last 5 fights: 3-1-1
Record in Major Organizations of MMA: 8-1-1
Longest Winning Streak: 10 wins
Longest Losing Streak: 1 loss (current)
Length of Time Since Last Fight: Approx. 7 months
Last Fight: def. by Lyoto Machida (-200) via TKO (Punches) – Round 2, 3:57 – UFC 98: Evans vs. Machida, May 23, 2009

Notable Wins: Forrest Griffin, Chuck Liddell, Michael Bisping, Jason Lambert
Notable Losses: Lyoto Machida
Notable Draw: Tito Ortiz

Interesting Trivia: Although Evans’ collegiate wrestling is mentioned ad nauseum during his fights, he “only” amassed a record of 48-34 while starting on the Michigan State wrestling team for three years. Won The Ultimate Fighter 2 as a Heavyweight.

MMA Accomplishments: Former UFC Light Heavyweight champion, winner of The Ultimate Fighter 2: Heavyweights, won 13 of 15 fights with his only loss being to current UFC Light Heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida
Non-MMA Accomplishments: 2000 National Juco wrestling champion (165 lb)

Strengths: Strong wrestling base, solid boxing and head movement, smart fighter, always well-prepared

Keys to Victory: Evans should have a measurable advantage when the fight is standing. Although both fighters boast strong boxing, Evans is the quicker fighter with better head movement and a stronger chin. He’ll likely want to keep the fight standing, work angles, and avoid Silva’s plodding attack while using his quickness to stick and move. Should the fight progress to the ground, Evans’ wrestling should help him avoid bad positioning and to fight off any potential submission attempts by the black-belted Silva, but he’ll want to get back up to his feet as quickly as possible. Evans cardio is excellent, and his opponent has only been out of the first round once in over three years, so a fast pace may wear down Silva.

* Versus *

Thiago Silva

Age: 27 (Born Nov 12, 1982)
Nickname: N/A
Height: 6 ft 1 in
Weight: 205 lbs

Primary Style of Fighting: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Secondary Style of Fighting: Boxing
Fighting Out Of: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Affiliation: American Top Team
Weight Class: Light Heavyweight (205 lbs)
Organizations Fought In: UFC, Pancrase, Fury Fighting Championships, Shooto, etc.

Fight Odds: +175 (subject to change)
Fight Odds Movement: Silva opened at +185
Overall Record: 14-1
Record in Last 5 fights: 4-1
Record in Major Organizations of MMA: 5-1
Longest Winning Streak: 13 wins
Longest Losing Streak: 1 loss
Length of Time Since Last Fight: Approx. 4 months
Last Fight: def. Keith Jardine (-175) via TKO (Strikes) – Round 1, 1:35 – UFC 102: Couture vs. Nogueira, August 29, 2009

Notable Wins: Keith Jardine, Tomasz Drwal, James Irvin
Notable Losses: Lyoto Machida

Interesting Trivia: Is generally credited with exposing Houston Alexander’s lack of ground game after he stopped him in their UFC 78: Validation matchup. Now lives in Coconut Creek, FL where he trains with the American Top Team

MMA Accomplishments: Has won 14 of his 15 professional fights, with his only loss being to current UFC Light Heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida
Non-MMA Accomplishments: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt

Strengths: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, aggressiveness, very good strikes

Keys to Victory: Press the action and look for the earliest possible opening to take the fight to the ground. Silva has excellent Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (black belt) and vicious ground and pound, so he’ll likely look to score a takedown or knockdown and keep the fight on the ground as long as possible by putting the wrestler on his back. Probably won’t look to stand and bang with his quicker opponent, however, he may have the power advantage there. Although a black belt, only has one legitimate submission victory in his career and uses his BJJ to set up ground and pound. Silva’s best chance at pulling the minor upset is via flash KO or gaining dominant position on the ground to work strikes there as well.

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