Josh Gross looks at the positive points of Rashad Evans’ performance:
Watching Evans mix up his wrestling and striking against Thiago Silva, the thought crossed my mind that if he fought this way all the time, Evans, a former UFC light heavyweight champion, could make himself as difficult to deal with as his training partner Georges St. Pierre. That’s pretty good.
Evans (14-1-1) confounded Silva (14-2) in rounds one and two. He pushed forward with strikes, moved into the clinch, dropped down for double- and single-leg takedowns. He forced the heavy-hitting Brazilian to react rather than attack, and it worked beautifully.
But there was a pretty big issue with Rashad’s game that Rani at Fightmetric points out:
Despite landing eight takedowns throughout the match, Evans managed to land only three strikes on the ground. It is exceedingly rare to see an instance where a fighter lands more takedowns than ground strikes.
Sure, Rashad was positively brilliant switching between striking and shooting, taking down Silva at will with some of the best takedowns I’ve seen in a while. But once he was down there he didn’t do shit. This was in pretty stark contrast to when Rashad fought Forrest Griffin and handily knocked his block off from guard.
I don’t wanna crap too much on Rashad because I thought he fought a pretty good fight and you can see a new piece of his personal MMA puzzle clicking together. It’s going to be very interesting to watch how he builds that revitalized wrestling into his overall package – a few more tweaks and he could be a major pain in the ass in all areas for his opponents.