UFC 223 Results: Ashlee Evans-Smith Bullies Bec Rawlings, Earns Decision

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UFC Montevideo Ashlee Evans-Smith Talia Santos
Ashlee Evans-Smith Credit: Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com

Ashlee Evans-Smith hit hard and hit often opposite Bec Rawlings at UFC 223.

In flyweight action at UFC 223 on Saturday in Brooklyn, Australia’s Bec Rawlings looked to get things back on track against the always game Ashlee Evans-Smith. Rawlings had lost three straight coming into the night, and was in danger of being cut from the promotion after moving up to 125lbs after struggles at strawweight. Evans-Smith, meanwhile, had lost two straight, most recently to Canada’s Sarah Moras at UFC 215.

With Bec Rawlings turning down her opponent off the opening glove touch, there was a feeling Rawlings vs. Evans-Smith could get a little nasty. It was Evans-Smith holding center early, with Rawlings circling on the outside. Evans-Smith had both the size and power advantage, unloading on Bec early. Kicks to the body, right hands, uppercuts in the clinch, Evans-Smith poured it on early. Bec came back with a knee in the clinch but really had very little offense in the first half of round one. A spinning back kick, though telegraphed, connected for Evans-Smith, though Rawlings finally began to catch her foe off the end of her punches. That said, round one belonged to Ashlee Evans-Smith. The icing on the cake came in a late takedown.

In the second, Rawlings began to rely more on her leg kicks, which were soon having an effect on her opponent. Evans-Smith still displayed the power advantage, and was backing Bec Rawlings up. Body kicks did further damage to Bec, as did kicks to the thigh; the Australian was soon showing considerable redness in the way of welts. Another slow spinning heel kick landed for Evans-Smith. In the final two minutes the pair began to unload, with Ashlee Evans-Smith leading the way. Both women were showing damage; Evans-Smith landed a crisp uppercut while Bec looked to land her right hand. Evans-Smith landed a spinning back fist in the final minute, then launched a sloppy takedown and paid for it when Rawlings fired off a knee. Still, the pair headed for the third and final frame.

The third round was a contrast in approaches: Ashlee Evans-Smith continued to throw volume. Bec Rawlings was throwing single strikes, mostly her right hand. The difference in output was clearly showing. The third was no doubt the best round for Bec, however, with her counter right finding a home more and more frequently. Evans-Smith began working her angles better, moving out of harm’s way after firing each combo. The pair would go the distance. Unsurprisingly, it was Evans-Smith with her hand raised.

Ashlee Evans-Smith def. Bec Rawlings by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

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