Published Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010 | 4:30 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010 | 9:37 p.m.
- Complete Coverage: UFC 108
- Live Blog: Evans takes decision win after wild third round
- Rashad Evans: No, this isn't happening again
- Paul Daley apologizes for overboard celebration, kind of
- UFC 108 Predictions
- Breaking down UFC 108: Rashad Evans vs. Thiago Silva
- Breaking down UFC 108: Paul Daley vs. Dustin Hazelett
- Fireside chat with UFC president Dana White
- Slideshow: UFC 108 arrivals at MGM Grand
- Change in opponent was deja vu for Martin Kampmann
- Rashad Evans says Rampage rivalry won't fade
Rashad Evans ended up getting the comeback win he had hoped for after suffering his first professional loss in May 2009. Barely.
Evans controlled the action through both of the first rounds over his opponent, Thiago Silva, during their main event clash at UFC 108 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday. He nearly lost it in the third round.
Silva became visibly frustrated at Evans, whose game plan was to keep the dangerous striker off his feet from the very start of the fight. The frustration boiled over midway through the third round, as Silva dropped his hands and began taunting Evans to come after him.
Evans did the smart thing and didn't take the Brazilian up on his offer, but a combination of hooks from Silva put Evans in trouble with about three minutes left in the fight.
Instead of pouncing on the stumbling Evans however, Silva continued to play to the crowd, standing with his hands on his hips and throwing his arms up in frustration. Meanwhile Evans used the extra time to recompose himself and barely survive the final round.
The win sets up a highly anticipated fight between Evans and Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson. The two have a heated rivalry going after serving as opposing coaches on the tenth season of "The Ultimate Fighter." They were supposed to fight last month, but that meeting was canceled after Jackson temporarily left the UFC to pursue an acting opportunity.
"I hear an actor came back to the UFC," Evans said after the fight. "Rampage, I know your watching. Come back and let's get it on."
For Silva, it's the second loss in three fights. He fell to UFC light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida in January but came back with a knockout win over Keith Jardine at UFC 102 in August 2009.
Rashad Evans (19-1-1) vs. Thiago Silva (14-2)
Round One: Lot of head movement by Evans as he comes out quick and then works Silva into a clinch on the fence. Evans gets low and slams Silva to his back. Quickly Evans moves to mount, but Silva squirms out and gets back to his feet. Crowd starts chanting 'Silva'. Evans again mixing in a lot of movement and keeping Silva out of rhythm. He shoots for the takedown and puts Silva on his back for the second time. Silva does a great job of getting back to his feet. He's proving to be tough to keep down. Ninety seconds left and Evans moves forward with a few straight hands before shooting on Silva. Silva backs to the fence and it's back to the clinch. Great body shot by Evans and he shoots immediately off it. Silva stays on his feet and swings a big left hook off the clinch but Evans ducks under as the round ends.
Round Two: Evans again uses the strategy of getting Silva to back off before shooting in. Silva puts his back to the cage again and stays on his feet. Silva throws a body kick that lands but Evans shoots and takes him down. Silva finds an opportunity to stand up but Evans is immediately on him. He picks him up and slams him to the canvas again. Silva able to get back to his feet once again, but Evans certainly winning the rounds. Silva throws a hard straight right that Evans ducks away from. One minute left and Silva lands a nice kick under the chin of Evans. Another strong takedown shot from Evans and he gets Silva back to the ground. Silva works his way up and the round ends in the clinch.
Round Three: Evans shoots to start final round, stuffed by Silva. Silva spending a lot of energy getting to his feet and stuffing takedowns. Evans staying cautious on the feet, knows he's got the fight won. Silva knows Evans is taking it easy and starts to raise his hands to the crowd involved. Now he puts his hands down and tempts Evans to knock him out. Evans really isn't biting though. Silva has gotten down to dancing in front of him. Now he lands a big right hand to Evans! Evans is hurt, but he manages to compose and grab on to him. Two minutes left and Silva lands another uppercut. Evans is clearly hurt. Just trying to survive. Another big upercut lands and Silva is playing with him again. He needs to try and finish though instead of playing. Now he stands perfectly still with his hands on his hips. He's playing to the crowd but he's making a huge mistake by not going after Evans here. Forty seconds left. Evans shoots but it's defended. Silva is looking around and playing to the crowd but he's making a huge mistake. Ten seconds left and he's lost his opportunity to pull this fight off. Round ends. Evans wins by unanimous decision.
Paul Daley (23-8-2) vs. Dustin Hazelett (14-5)
Round One: Hazelett starts things off with a front sommersault kick thing that takes him to the ground. He gets back to his feet. Daley goes for a head kick, Hazelett just avoids it. Daley comes forward with a straight right then left that knock Hazelett back. Huge left hook lands from Daley that put Hazelett immediately on his back. Daley follows with another brutal left shot while he's on the ground to end the fight. Huge knockout win for Daley in the first round.
Sam Stout (16-5-1) vs. Joe Lauzon (17-5)
Round One: Lauzon ducks under an early punch and looks for the takedown. He gets it. Lands some good elbows from that position and then goes straight for the kimura. Stout gets away with the crowd loving it. Fighters back to their feet and Stout is bleeding badly from a cut above his left eye from one of those elbows. He gets in a good jab though that backs Lauzon off. Now Lauzon shoots and Stout defends at first but then goes to the mat. He backs his way to the cage and works to his feet. Another takedown attempt from Lauzon but Stout stuffs it and reverses, putting Lauzon on his back. Good right hand crashes down for Stout. Now he lets Lauzon to his feet. Good right hook from Lauzon. Lauzon shoots, Stout defends and lands an uppercut. Now good head kick from Stout. Another good uppercut from Stout. Straight right from Lauzon. Stout catches a leg kick from Lauzon and lands a straight punch. Spinning backfist from Stout ends a crazy first round.
Round Two: Lauzon shoots a takedown but Stout throws him off. Stout gets Lauzon in trouble with a head kick but Lauzon ducks and gets Stout to the ground. Stout backs up and moves back to his feet off the fence. Lauzon catches a kick and looks for the single-leg takedown now. Stout defends. Fight has really turned in Stout's favor. Good right hand lands for Lauzon, but Stout comes back with a flurry of punches. Lauzon shoots again but with nothing on it. Stout sweeps him and puts him on his back, but quickly allows him back up. Lauzon may be gassed. He's still coming forward but he's blocking more than throwing and his takedowns are real weak. There's another one, and Stout pushes him back to the ground and gets in top position. Round ends and Stout helps Lauzon to his feet.
Round Three: Lauzon comes out aggressive here but Stout weathers the storm and lands a few good counters after stuffing a takedown attempt. More good action from Stout, a couple straight hands followed by a knee to the body. Very little action from Lauzon. Stout goes for hands to the body and then follows it up with a hook at the end. Two minutes to go and Lauzon just doesn't look like he's got the energy to try and pull this one out. Stout gets too aggressive though and Lauzon lands a takedown. He seems encouraged now and moves into a guillotine. Stout able to get away and then back to his feet. Crowd roars, that was a close call for Stout. Thirty seconds left and Stout knocks Lauzon's head back with a strong uppercut. Fight ends with Stout all over Lauzon. He wins it by unanimous decision.
Duane Ludwig (27-10) vs. Jim Miller (16-2)
Round One: Ludwig lands a straight right that backs up Miller to begin the fight. Miller comes forward with a flurry of punches and finishes with a head kick that Ludwig knocks away. Miller winds up for a huge overhand left that misses. Now Miller drops Ludwig with a right hook and goes straight to mount . Ludwig tries to throw him off and Miller transitions to an armbar. He quickly finishes it off from there. Miller gets submission win at 2:31 of first round. "I just try and train and try to get better everyday," Miller said. "I want to thank Duane for stepping up and everyone that stepped up on short notice."
Gilbert Yvel (36-14-1) vs. Junior Dos Santos (10-1)
Round One: Crowd pretty loud for first fight on pay-per-view card. Yvel swings for the fences with a big right hand but misses. Yvel spinning back kick now. Dos Santos lands a good left hook. Both fighters get some shots in as Dos Santos comes forward. Dos Santos blocks a head kick from Yvel, smiles and motions to him to bring it. Then he drops him with a left hook. Yvel is covering up on the ground and referee Herb Dean steps in. Fight over at 2:07 into the first round, TKO win for Dos Santos.
Jacob Volkmann (9-2) vs. Martin Kampmann (16-3)
Round One: Volkmann coming forward more in the fights opening minutes but Kampmann is landing the better shots. Now a good flurry from Volkmann lands but Kampmann sticks his tongue out and then drops Volkmann with a hook. Volkmann comes forward again and Kampmann weathers a few consecutive hooks and then lands one of his own that sends Volkmann to the canvas again. Kampmann now on top in Volkmann's guard. Kampmann stands up and avoids a big upkick from Volkmann before coming back down with a shot that grazes off Volkmann's cheek. Another big right from Kampmann and now hammerfists. Volkmann leans forward in trouble and exposes his neck. Kampmann takes it and immediately applies the guillotine and chokes him out. Kampmann by submission in first round. "I think he caught me with too many punches," Kampmann said. "I thought he was going to try and clinch and try and take me down. I was a little cautious in the begining and he caught me with a few good shots. But I'm happy I got the win.:
Dan Lauzon (12-3) vs. Cole Miller (16-4)
Round One: Lauzon comes out for first fight in the UFC since he made his debut at 18-years-old. Miller catches a good left hook then looks for the knee. Good body kick now from Miller. Now Lauzon drops Miller by ducking under a hook and catching him on the chin. Miller recovers and gets back to his feet with Lauzon in pursuit. Pace is incredible so far. Miller throws a kick and its caught by Lauzon and he lands a few left hands while Miller's off balance. Now Lauzon wrestles him to the ground and takes his back when Miller tries to get up. Miller out of it though and rolls into an armbar attempt. And in a very nice move, Miller actually finishes the fight by kimura from reverse triangle at 3:05 of first round.
Ryan Jensen (15-5) vs. Mark Munoz (7-1)
Round One: Fighters come out touch gloves before Munoz misses with the first punch of the round. Jensen looks to knee and Munoz catches it and slams him to the ground but Jensen saw the opportunity to sink in a guillotine attempt. Munoz is too strong and breaks free. Jensen back to his feet and lands a good combination that had Munoz backing up. He shoots for the takedown but Munoz stays on his feet and they move to a clinch against the fence. Munoz works the takedown and lands some good hammerfists from the top. Munoz all over Jensen now and Yamasaki is right there waiting to make the call. He's raining them down and Jensen is just lying on his stomach covering the back of his head. Yamasaki finally calls it as it looked like Jensen tried about two or three times to tapout. Munoz wins by tapout due to strikes.
Jake Ellenberger (22-5) vs. Mike Pyle (18-7-1)
Round One: Ellenberger comes right after Pyle to start the fight, landing a few straight shots. Pyle backs up and gets put on his back, but that's not a terrible place to be for a submission artist. Ellenberger on top in Pyle's guard. Good elbow from Ellenberger. Bit of a stalemate here, as Ellenberger neutralizing Pyle's jiu-jitsu but unable to land many big shots from the top. Fight stood up with 90 seconds left and immediately Ellenberger takes Pyle back to the mat. Pyle from his back locks in a kimura attempt with 30 seconds to go, but Ellenberger breaks free. Ellenberger lands some great shots towards the end of the round and Pyle looked nearly finished. He was definitely saved by the horn there.
Round Two: Ellenberger comes out and drops Pyle immediately with a right hook. It was a quick finish from there as Pyle was clearly hurt. Ellenberger gets the win by TKO at 22 seconds of second round.
John Gunderson (22-7) vs. Rafaello Oliveira (10-2)
Round One: First UFC event of 2010 is officially underway as Gunderson and Oliveira meet towards the middle of the octagon. Lots of feeling out here early. Oliveira shoots for takedown a minute in and Gunderson catches him in a guillotine hold. Oliveira escapes and has top position. Now works to side control and eventually full mount. Gunderson immediately gives up his back and is in trouble. Gunderson attempts an arm triangle but Oliveira avoids. Oliveira back to mount where he lands some good shots with still over a minute left in the round. Gunderson manages to work his way back to his feet twice in final 30 seconds of round but that one definitely goes to Oliveira.
Round Two: Oliveira aims a kick at Gunderson's head but he blocks it away. Similar to last round, Oliveira goes for a takedown and Gunderson looks for the guillotine but eventually goes down. Gunderson looks for the kimura attempt from the bottom. He doesn't get it but he's able to get back to his feet. Oliveira takes him immediately back down though. Oliveira moves to take his back and was close to getting a rear naked in but Gunderson rolls towards him and avoids it for now. Now it's back in and Gunderson is in a real bad spot with two minutes to go. He rolls Oliveira off his back but that puts him back to full mount. Now Oliveira rolls over Gunderson into an armbar attempt. Gunderson is working hard to keep his arm free though and finishes the round on his feet.
Round Three: Oliveira quickly on top again to start third round. First looks for armbar then takes his back. Gunderson again avoids the rear naked and moves back to his feet. Oliveira takes him down again, and again Gunderson looks for the guillotine when he does. No problem for Oliveira, who clears his neck and is just completely outwrestling his opponent. Ninety seconds to go. Twenty seconds to go Oliveira rolls into armbar attempt and is really trying to crank it free, but Gunderson locks it up and survives til the horn. Oliveira pitches the shutout, takes all three rounds and wins unanimous decision. "I didn't have a Christmas, I didn't have a New Years," Oliveira said. "This is my Christmas. This is my New Years."