UFC 156 co-main event: Evans vs. Nogueira Fight recap and analysis
At UFC 156 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Rashad Evans (17-2-1 MMA) and Antonio “Little Nog” Nogueira (20-5 MMA) was our co-main event of the night. The 36-year-old Nogueira was looking to get his second win in a row after defeating Tito Ortiz a little over a year ago. Evans was looking to get back in the win column after losing to Jon Jones in a UFC light heavyweight title fight.
Rashad Evans is a former light heavyweight champion with some of the quickest hands in the LHW division, and arguably the best wrestler in the LHW. Evans holds wins over four former light heavyweight champions, one of those wins was a brutal KO of “the iceman” Chuck Liddell. Little Nog has won 8 of his last 10 fights and looked outstanding at UFC 140 when he finished off Tito Ortiz in the first round.
For the first two minutes of the first round the fighters did much of nothing but feeling out, tapping gloves to get timing and distance. It was halfway through the round before a significant punch was landed by little Nog. With about a minute to go in the round Rashad took his first takedown attempt and succeeded, but only for a second as Nogueira got right back to his feet eating a few punches on his way up.
The second and third rounds were not much different then the first. Neither fighter ever really landed anything significant and Rashad had very little success with takedowns. The fighters spent most of the time standing in front of each other touching gloves in almost a rhythmic fashion. The most excitement in the fight came in the third round when Evans accidently poked Nogueira in the eye and we had to wait to see if he would be able to continue.
The fans showed their disapproval of the fighter’s efforts for most of the third round with loud and thunderous booing. The fight ended with a small flurry and clinch, with little Nog and Rashad both raising their hands after the final round came to an end. The fight went to a decision and all three judges scored the fight 29-28 for Antonio Nogueira.
I scored the fight the same with Rashad taking the first round with the big takedown and landing a few clean punches as Nogueira got back to his feet. The second and third rounds I gave to little Nog for moving forward and throwing more punches then Rashad, and for stuffing the rest of Evans takedown attempts. For a fight that could have been something great, this was far from it. I take nothing away from either fighter and Nogueira earned his victory tonight.