When former UFC light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans came into the “Ultimate Fighter” house for the second season of the reality TV series, calling him an MMA fighter would have been a bit of a stretch.
Even though Evans came into the “Ultimate Fighter” reality TV show with a 5-0 MMA record, his wrestling skills were his only assets, making him an underdog on the show. Despite the odds, the undersized Evans managed to dispatch his heavyweight opponents on the show, earning himself a spot in the finale.
Evans defeated MMA veteran Brad Imes at the “Ultimate Fighter 2” Finale, once again using his wrestling to secure the victory.
Rashad wasn’t exactly exciting in his earlier days in the UFC, seemingly content to win fights by decision. With time, Rashad’s striking started coming up to par, eventually getting his first knockout in the promotion against Jason Lambert at UFC 63.
Evans worked his way up the UFC’s light-heavyweight rankings, earning a shot against MMA great Chuck Liddell. Evans knocked Liddell out at UFC 88, earning himself a shot at the belt. With his win over Forrest Griffin at UFC 92, Evans had the light-heavyweight belt around his waist, three years after winning the “Ultimate Fighter” reality series.
Most didn’t expect Evans to become one of the best MMA fighters in the UFC, but the 31 year old has done just that, thanks to his work ethic and dedication to the sport.
Against fellow former light-heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz at UFC 133, Evans showed MMA fans his evolution was complete, displaying some impressive boxing skills and a new-found willingness to trade.
With his win against Tito Ortiz at UFC 133, Rashad has once again earned a shot at the belt. Evans already has a win over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, who’ll face current light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones at UFC 135, and his chances against Jones are pretty even.