Pros Pick: Liddell vs. Evans

By Mike Sloan Sep 6, 2008
This Saturday down in sultry Atlanta, the UFC is delivering one heck of a fight card.

However, one fight in particular has the MMA world abuzz: Chuck Liddell (Pictures) versus Rashad Evans (Pictures). Looking at the fight a bit closer, the keys to victory for each combatant seem quite simple: Will it be Liddell’s superb sprawl and debilitating striking power or Evans’ athleticism and speed that reign supreme? turned to the pros for their opinions:

Jeff Monson (Pictures): I think Liddell (will win) because of experience.

Randy Couture (Pictures): Tough one to pick! Can make a case for either guy, but in my mind, it depends on Evans. We know what Chuck is gonna try to do. Can Evans pull the trigger and push himself and Chuck? That’s the question.

Nathan Quarry (Pictures): I see Chuck landing that big left hook and winning. He’s a hard man to take down.

Jaime Fletcher (Pictures): Liddell by KO. Rashad is a good fighter, but Chuck takes chances, is hard to take down and looping punches from weird angles are hard to deal with.

Tyson Griffin (Pictures): I don’t know, man. I know both those guys real well. It’ll be a good fight, but I honestly don’t know. I can see that fight going both ways.

Pete Sell (Pictures): Liddell by KO round three. Rashad is tough and will give Liddell a hell of a fight, but I have to go with the experience on this one.

Nathan Marquardt (Pictures): Evans by TKO round three.

Duke Roufus: Chuck by KO … if he can keep it standing.

Shannon Gugerty (Pictures): I’m going with Liddell by knockout.

Kevin Burns: I believe Liddell will win by KO because Evans will not be able to take him down.

Nick Thompson (Pictures): Evans by unanimous decision.

Travis Wiuff (Pictures): I think Chuck by KO in the second round. Chuck looked great against (Wanderlei) Silva, and I think he is on a mission to get his title back. A focused and determined Liddell is very scary.

Din Thomas (Pictures): Rashad is one of my favorite fighters, and I’m always pulling for him. But Chuck’s style could be kryptonite for Rashad. But Rashad seems to be hungrier and starting to peak. I’m going to pick Rashad to upset Chuck.

Rob Kimmons (Pictures): Liddell by knockout. Too much for Rashad. Just my opinion.

Jens Pulver (Pictures): I wanna see Chuck do it. He has the power and the wrestling. Rashad just doesn’t fight to his full potential, and this time it will get him rocked.

Steve Heath (Pictures): Liddell by decision. Possible TKO in the third, but I doubt it -- Evans is elusive. Liddell’s takedown defense and size/reach advantage (will win the fight).

Marvin Eastman (Pictures): Chuck by split decision. Chuck fights going backwards, and Evans will have to get Chuck on the mat to beat him.

Urijah Faber (Pictures): I think it will be Chuck by KO -- good takedown defense and heavy hands. I think if it goes to a decision, Rashad will have an edge, though.

Trevor Prangley (Pictures): Liddell over Evans because Chuck is a finisher and outpowers Rashad.

Mike Whitehead (Pictures): Liddell by KO. Rashad is too small! He would be a monster at 185. Liddell’s takedown (defense) is good enough.

Ricardo Liborio (Pictures): Liddell by KO. He’s a better striker with very good wrestling skills.

Troy Mandaloniz (Pictures): Chuck will be the Chuck we’re used to seeing. Liddell by TKO.

Travis Lutter (Pictures): Liddell (by) knockout. (He’s) too good.

Kim Couture (Pictures): I personally love both guys, so I hate doing this, but I think that Rashad has the skills and explosiveness to beat Chuck. I hope he does not get intimidated or almost star struck by Chuck. I saw that with Rashad vs. Tito. Chuck is always consistent and, of course, dangerous. If I had to bet, I would stick with Chuck with the aggressive KO in the second round.

Guy Mezger (Pictures): If Chuck is focused, he wins. (He’s) bigger and harder hitting. I don’t see Evans’ takedown ability being a factor against Liddell.

Cung Le (Pictures): Chuck will win by decision. It’s his power punching.

Dan Henderson (Pictures): Chuck by avoiding the takedown and picking him apart.

Kit Cope (Pictures): This one is an easy call. Evans has yet to face the opposition that Chuck will present him with. Any showboating within the same Octagon with Chuck will certainly be met with a swift KO. Chuck is an opportunist with impeccable timing. Everyone is so eager to count Chuck out, but he has had three of the worst possible matchups back-to-back-to-back (if you can put three backs together): an ox, a beast and a dude that is even more awkward than he is. It’ll be Chuck with a finish for sure. Evans is being welcomed to the next level with a trial by fire.

Brodie Farber (Pictures): Have to go with Liddell. He will prevent the takedown and KO Evans late in the second or third.

Eddy Millis (Pictures): Liddell by left hook. KO in round one.

James Fanshier (Pictures): I don’t see Rashad being able to impose his will on Chuck. Liddell will win the first, wobble him in the second and Rashad will make it close in the third. Chuck 29-27.

Juanito Ibarra: I’m picking Liddell, man. Liddell’s too hungry, and coming off this injury, he’s very focused. I look for a knockout in the second round. I don’t think it’ll go three rounds; I think he’ll finish him. As for Rashad, not taking nothing from him. He’s a kid who keeps learning and comes from a great camp. I like Rashad a lot, but I think Liddell’s game plan coming to destroy him will be too much.

Total Pros Picks: 32
Pros who picked Liddell: 27
Pros who picked Evans: 3
Pros who couldn’t decide: 2
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