Evans Fires Perfect Game, Knocks Liddell Out in UFC 88 Main Event
ATLANTA, September 6 – Rashad Evans fought the perfect fight tonight in the UFC 88 main event against former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, and at 1:51 of the second round, he finished the perfect fight with the perfect punch, stunning a packed house at Philips Arena with a one punch knockout of ‘The Iceman’.
“You’ve got to go straight for the horns,” said Evans, still unbeaten at 17-0-1. “You can’t fight him going for takedowns all night. That’s the way you get knocked out. I wanted to beat him at his own game.”
Evans appeared loose before the opening bell, undaunted by the task ahead of him, and once the fight began, he used movement and angles to make Liddell use his legs. ‘The Iceman’ simply stalked, waiting for the opportunity to unleash his right hand. With a little over three minutes left, he grazed Evans, knocking him off balance briefly. The crowd roared and Evans danced away, showing that he was unhurt. What really proved his readiness though was a hard kick to Liddell’s leg in retaliation. As the round entered its final two minutes, the crowd started to get restless at the lack of sustained action, and Liddell seemed to be getting impatient as well as he picked up his forward march in pursuit of his elusive foe. Evans stayed out of trouble though, and it was Liddell walking back to his corner at the end of the round with a cut under his right eye.
Liddell continued to stalk as round two began, but this time, when he closed in, Evans would fire back in flurries that weren’t doing damage but were keeping the former light heavyweight champ honest. But moments later, Liddell, with his fist cocked and looking to be unworried by incoming fire, shot off a right uppercut from long range at the same time Evans blasted a right hand. Evans landed first, and Liddell, knocked unconscious instantly, fell hard to the canvas, where he remained for a few tense moments until he was able to make it up and out of the Octagon under his own power.
As for Evans, there’s a new player in the race for a shot at light heavyweight boss Forrest Griffin, but the man of the hour is in no rush.
“I’m a patient man, and I’m just enjoying the ride,” said Evans when asked about a title shot. “However long it takes.”
With the loss, the 38-year old Liddell falls to 21-6.