Rashad Evans was far from a sure thing when he entered the Ultimate Fighting Championship through “The Ultimate Fighter” door in 2005. Some 14 years later, he was being enshrined in the UFC Hall of Fame.
Evans won Season 2 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, carved out a prominent place on the UFC roster and went on to capture the undisputed light heavyweight championship with a third-round technical knockout of Forrest Griffin on Dec. 27, 2008. Though his stay at the top was brief, he remained one of the sport’s premiere competitors and marquee attractions at 205 pounds. Evans suffered a knee injury in 2014, underwent multiple surgeries and never seemed to fully recover. He retired on June 25, 2018 after consecutive losses to Ryan Bader, Glover Teixeira, Daniel Kelly, Sam Alvey and Anthony Smith.
With rumors still circulating about a possible Evans comeback, here are some of the numbers that have come to define him:
40: Years of age. Evans was born on Sept. 25, 1979 in Niagara Falls, New York.
48: Wins as a collegiate wrestler at Michigan State University. Prior to joining the Spartans, Evans won a national championship as a member of the Niagara County Community College wrestling team in 2000.
50: Second needed to put away Dennis Reed with an anaconda choke in his pro debut on April 10, 2004. It remains the fastest finish of Evans’ career.
14: Professional appearances made before he suffered his first defeat. Evans started his career 13-0-1, as he stayed unbeaten until he was knocked out by Lyoto Machida in the second round of their UFC 98 main event.
7: Victories over former UFC, Pride Fighting Championships or Bellator MMA titleholders, accounting for more than a third of his career total. Evans bested the aforementioned Griffin, Michael Bisping, Chuck Liddell, Quinton Jackson, Tito Ortiz, Phil Davis and Dan Henderson.
147: Days as undisputed UFC light heavyweight champion. Evans’ reign ranks as the second-shortest on record in the 205-pound weight class. Randy Couture’s first run as champion ended after just 127 days.
6: Split decisions on his resume. Evans owns a 4-2 record in those fights, his wins over Bisping, Henderson, Sam Hoger and Brad Imes offset by losses to Alvey and Kelly.
50: Takedowns executed as a light heavyweight, second-most on the UFC’s all-time list. Only Corey Anderson (53) has secured more.
62: Significant strikes landed in a five-round unanimous decision over Davis in the UFC on Fox 2 main event—a high-water mark for Evans.
3: Promotions in which Evans has competed as a mixed martial artist. He went 14-8-1 in the UFC, 3-0 in Gladiator Challenge and 2-0 in Dangerzone.
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