Ultimate Fighter season two winner Rashad Evans sought to rebound from a disappointing loss after failing to relinquish the 205-pound title from kingpin Jon Jones back in April. The former UFC light heavyweight champion faced Pride veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira tonight in a co-main event battle to climb back up the division ladder.
The man known as Lil’ Nog has amassed a record of 3-2 since joining the UFC. The former Brazilian boxing champion has endured his fair share of injuries and opponent changes. With a perennial contender before him, Nogueira said he wanted to display his improved wrestling and make a big leap up the light heavyweight rankings
“This is my moment to shine,” said Nogueira prior to the fight. “I’m going to win. I’m going to beat Rashad Evans.”
He was correct.
Nogueira earned a unanimous decision after three rounds. Nogueira pressed forward throughout the fight, utilizing his jab as he tried to close the distance. It was apparent both fighters respected each other’s striking.
Using his athleticism and selective power strikes, Rashad relied on his speed instead of wrestling in what was a fairly uneventful fight. Evans was only able to land one takedowns out of four attempts, a testament to Nogueira’s improved wrestling.
The win was arguably Nogueira’s biggest of his UFC career. For Rashad it is the first time he’s suffered back to back losses.