Believe it or not there was an actual fight for UFC 156's co-main event. Well. there's one scheduled at least. Rashad Evans was supposed to showcase his skill set against an aging Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Evans was supposed to walk through the Brazilian and call out Anderson Silva for what was sure to be a big payday for everyone involved.
Unfortunately, nobody delivered those memos to either fighter.
In the first round, the two men began a game of patty-cake that would last the majority of the 15 minutes of the fight. Evans looked to load up on his powerful right hand and tried to set it up for most of the first round.
He was able to land it but the right hand barely fazed "Little Nog." Perhaps it shook Evans' confidence level as the former light heavyweight champion looked nothing like himself against Nogueira.
We've seen Evans look for the KO blow, before but he failed to display his usual athletic ability. Evans is (or used to be) one of the most explosive fighters in the 205-pound division, but you'd never know that from his performance against Nogueira.
Evans was able to score a takedown in the waning moments of the first round but was unable to do anything with it as Nogueira quickly bounced back to his feet.
Regardless of how ineffective Evans' striking and takedowns were, Nogueira was equally inept. No matter how much Joe Rogan wants to hype up Nogueira's boxing background, it simply hasn't translated to success in the Octagon. He's a technical striker but doesn't have the power or speed to do much with the technique.
The Brazilian was able to utilize a jab and mix in some kicks to score points against Evans on the feet, but the strikes were hardly anything I'd consider to warrant a fighter winning a fight.
In the final minutes, it seemed as if Evans woke up out of his coma and decided to throw more than one punch at a time, but it was too little, too late for the former champion. None of the strikes in his flurries managed to do anything and it only made Evans look worse.
I'm predicting Evans or his camp to come out and say he was injured because that's honestly the only way to explain his performance. He looked extremely lethargic on the feet and failed to transition his strikes to takedowns, something few fighters do better than Evans.
Fans looking for a technical breakdown of how Nogueira won the fight or how Evans lost it need only look to the closest elementary school playground. I'm sure one of the little kids there will explain how to properly play patty-cake with one another.
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