UFC: Rashad Evans Announces Retirement

Rashad Evans, former UFC light heavyweight champ, has announced his retirement
Rashad Evans (right) Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Monday on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans announced his retirement.

Weeks after his loss via knockout to Anthony Smith at UFC 225, Rashad Evans has announced his retirement. Evans, now 38 and having lost his last five fights in a row, knew he was approaching the end of his career after a failed middleweight run that saw him drop split decisions to Dan Kelly and Sam Alvey. He gave it one more shot back at his former home of 205 pounds when he faced Anthony Smith earlier this June, but suffered a brutal knockout in the first round.

While ending on a down slide, Evans’ retirement brings an end to a storied UFC tenure.

Evans originally started in the UFC as a heavyweight, winning the Ultimate Fighter season two heavyweight tournament, then moving down to 205lbs afterwards. After winning six of his next seven fights, including a crushing knockout of Chuck Liddell, Evans was given a title shot against then champion Forrest Griffin at UFC 92. He won the fight via TKO in the third round. ‘Suga,’ however, would lose the championship in his very next fight, against Lyoto Machida at UFC 98.

After winning his next four fights, including a grudge match against Rampage Jackson, Evans earned a title shot against former teammate Jon Jones at UFC 145. The buildup to the fight was massive, the bout hotly anticipated. Rashad would put up a good fight, but would ultimately end up losing the fight via decision to Jones. It’s worth noting, however, that Evans was the first to take Jones to decision in a title fight.

Evans would lose his next fight to Antonio Rogerio Nogueria at UFC 156 before rebounding with wins over Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen. Injuries would then sideline Evans for two years before the former champ returned to fight Ryan Bader at UFC 192. He would lose that fight, which turned out to be the first of five losses to close out his MMA career.

Evans retires with a career record of 19-8-1, as a former UFC champion, TUF winner, and currently works as an analyst on UFC broadcasts. Having won both The Ultimate Fighter and a UFC title, Evans belongs to an elite group of fighters including Forrest Griffin, Michael Bisping, Robert Whittaker, and Tony Ferguson.