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What’s wrong with Liddell-Evans

Most respectable news sites have dutifully told you that Rashad Evans has replaced the oft-broken Mauricio Rua in his fight against Chuck Liddell. And being respectable news sites, they didn’t include a lot of swear words or angry rhetoric or anything else that basically says “This sucks!” But this is, and we are not quite as respectable as other sites And let me tell you what: This change fucking sucks.

I’ve tried to go through all this with a rational mind, which was hard because I hate Rashad Evans with the burning intensity of 1000 suns. It took me a while, but here’s a list of practical reasons to hate this change:

The drop in quality: Going from Shogun Rua to Rashad Evans as Chuck’s opponent is like shifting from 5th gear to reverse while doing 100MPH on the highway. Shogun was always considered next in line to the PRIDE throne after Wanderlei Silva, so this was like a mini-Chuck vs Wand all over again. The hype would have been amazing, with Rua vowing to avenge his defeated friend. Now we’re stuck with a guy in Rashad Evans who couldn’t get an interesting feud rolling with Tito “Drama Llama” Ortiz.

Rashad’s recent performances: People continue to lord Evans’ undefeated record like it matters, but the reality of the situation is that smart fans know he’s already lost twice. Tito Ortiz had to settle for a tie because he grabed the fence during an otherwise clear victory, and Michael Bisping also got the better of Rashad. That fight was ruled in Rashad’s favor by the grace of Bisping’s karma and a few blind refs. So is Rashad really the undefeated fighter with strong recent performances the UFC is trying to sell him as? Not really. The last impressive thing Rashad did was kick Sean Salmon’s head off, and even in that fight Rashad had lost the first round!

Another non-title card: I remember when Dana White was tripping balls over the fact that Travis Lutter didn’t make weight for his fight with Anderson Silva, leaving UFC 67 without a fight for a belt. Now it seems the UFC is okay with having cards from time to time with no belt on the line. Chuck was already involved with one of these at UFC 76. Ditto with Rashad at UFC 78. Now this headlining fight isn’t even a matchup between top-ranked fighters. And it’s effect on contendership has become very dubious indeed.

For all it’s flaws, there’s one plus this fight’s got going for it that infuriates me more than all the minuses I just laid out: that Rashad Evans is better known and more popular than Mauricio Rua to the average UFC fan, and that the fight will probably do better business on account of this change. And that makes me weep Pride fanboy tears into my pillow just thinking it.

  • x5BoltMainx

    Isn’t there a rumor that this card will be shown on SPIKE?

  • Lifer

    rashad evans is like a bad version of a young tito ortiz who couldnt beat the questionable and self-admitted lesser fighter that is now tito ortiz. mma-math tells me this is an easy win for liddell.

  • Xavier

    Because I like rubbing it in…

    – More people know who Evans is and like him.
    – Those who know who Rua is see him as a flabby Brazilian who couldn’t beat Griffin.
    – Rua without the drugs and the ‘roids and the stomps is equivalent to his brother, and we’ve all seen how awesome his brother is. Snarf.
    – Evans would probably beat Rua in the UFC nine out of ten times.
    -Evans will likely beat Liddell and then get matched up with Jackson.

    And you know what? Evans deserves all the success he gets in life. He can boringly fight for another twenty years and I won’t hate on him. I cannot hate on him. For he is the man who ended the UFC career and internet love-fest with Can o’ Salmon by dropping a career-devastating kick to the face. Sean Salmon is evil, so that means Rashad Evans literally vanquished evil.

    He gets a pass for being a boring fighter for life now.

  • CAP

    I was bummed also when Shogun had to pull out of the fight. I am not a big Evans fan and the only upside to this is getting to see Chuck pound him. I’m hoping for a KO. Then they can snubb Jardine again and give Chuck another title shot.

  • Steve4192

    Evans > Jardine > Griffin > Shogun

  • Popetastic

    I don’t see how Rashad beating Chuck is anywhere near “likely.” Liddell has built his career on destroying guys with the same basic fighting style as Rashad Evans.

    If you want to argue that Evans could beat Shogun… Fine. Maybe he can take him down and lay on him for three rounds. Awesome.

    Sean Salmon is evil? Not sure what that’s supposed to mean. I think he’s basically a can, yes. But I don’t think anyone deserves brownie points for life for knocking out a can.

  • Xavier

    Sean Salmon is evil. You’re not sure what that is supposed to mean because you don’t read his craptastic crap over at MMAjunkie.

    Rashad will beat Chuck because Rashad is an intelligent fighter who finds a way, consistently, to overachieve. That, and Chuck is a lazy whore-man who drinks too much and has a shit work ethic when it comes to fighters he’s not excited to fight. He isn’t going to be excited to fight Evans. See: “Jardine theory.”

  • Higgz

    There’s one good thing about this fight: Getting to see Rashad Evans KTFO!!!

    Although, I don’t see Chuck training nearly as hard for Rashad as Shogun. Even still, he’ll probably have sex while walking out to the Octagon, doing an interview on his cell phone and passing out flyers to hot chicks for his after party and still walk in there and knock Rashad out while exchanging pleasantries with celebrities in the front row.

  • godzillad

    ”That fight was rules in Rashad’s favor by the grace of Bisping’s karma and a few blind refs”

    How were the refs responsible for the decision?

  • stink47

    remember rashad’s pre-tito hype talk “he’s gonna be in a war he aint’ gonna wanna fight Again!” and all that shit….. turned out to be a fuckin snoozefest with him dancin about like a fuckin jackinthebox

  • Popetastic

    It doesn’t matter how excited Chuck is for this fight. That won’t take away he great take-down defense. Rashad and Jardine are extremely different fighters, so that theory is useless. If Rashad is dumb enough to think he can strike with Chuck, he’s going to need smelling salts relatively early in the first round. If he goes for the take-down, which is his only chance, he will just waste a ton of energy, and eventually get knocked out. Either way spells a bad night for Evans.

    I didn’t read any of Salmon’s columns and I don’t really care that Rashad was able to beat the man.