Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight veterans Glover Teixeira and Rashad Evans clashed last night (Sat., April 16, 2016) at UFC on FOX 19 inside Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.
Coming in on a two-fight win streak over quality opponents, Teixeira had already restored his position as one of the best in the world at 205 pounds. With a victory over the former champion, Teixeira would be right back in the immediate title mix.
On the other hand, Evans was in something of a difficult position. "Suga" hadn't won a fight in more than two years, and he really needed a strong performance in order to remain a relevant player in the division.
Instead, his opponent shined.
Highlights! To watch Glover Teixeira faceplant knockout Rashad Evans click here!
Teixeira wasted no time in stalking his opponent, looking for any opportunity to throw his hands. Evans, meanwhile, circled the cage and looked to use his speed and wrestling advantages.
The first couple of times that Teixeira walked his opponent into the fence, Evans managed to avoid any major shots and would clinch up with his opponent, allowing him to safely spin out. However, that's a dangerous game to play, and Evans paid the price about two minutes into the round.
As the Brazilian lunged in with his cross, Evans avoided but was trapped against the fence. Forced to trade, Evans attempted to counter only to swallow a massive left hook. That punch essentially ended the fight, causing Evans to fall to the mat face first, and a couple follow up strikes officially called the bout to a close.
This was pretty much the ideal result for Teixeira. His opponent's game plan was rather obvious, and Teixeira quickly nullified it by cutting off the cage and forcing his opponent to trade with him.
Considering Teixeira's massive advantage in power and durability, that wasn't a battle Evans was likely to win.
Following this victory, Teixeira is back in the immediate title hunt. While he'll ultimately have to wait for the Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier saga to play out, his call out of Anthony Johnson was a smart one. Both men are close to the title but haven't yet earned the shot, so a win for either is a definitive argument.
On the other hand, this is a pretty disappointing performance from Evans. Though he was only in the cage for a couple minutes, Evans never truly committed to any of his punches or takedowns. He looked -- for the second time in a row -- apprehensive, which allowed his opponent to ignore his offense and knock him out.
Evans' path going forward is unclear. He's still a skilled and athletic enough fighter to defeat most of the men in his division, but it's also clear that he's no longer an elite member of the division. At the end of the day, it becomes a question of whether Evans has the desire to keep competing without the hopes of earning the strap again someday.
"Suga" is the only one who can answer that question.
Last night, Glover Teixeira violently knocked out Rashad Evans in a quick victory. Can the Brazilian work his way into a second title fight?
For complete UFC on FOX 19 "Teixiera vs Evans" results and play-by-play, click HERE!