Rashad Evans and the Ultimate Fighter 2: Where Are They Now?
You asked for it. You got it.
As it happens, a certain participant in the show's second season—let's call him Rashad E.—is competing this weekend at UFC 161. And it got me to thinking. What happened to those heavyweights and welterweights, who put it all out there for the cameras under the tutelage of Matt Hughes and Rich Franklin, all the way back in 2005, when light bulbs were incandescent and cars were operated by hand crank?
Here's a full accounting. They are ranked according to record and career accomplishments.
Lead image courtesy of mmalinker.com.
Jason Von Flue
Pro record: 14-12-1
This is the guy who replaced Josh Burkman on the show after he got injured. Von Flue did fight, against a guy named Joe Stevenson, but lost.
In his final pro match, the Greg Jackson product tapped to strikes against the immortal Marcus Gaines.
Pro record: 5-2
Anthony Torres lost in the eighth episode to Luke Cummo, and it didn't get much better for his career from then on. It probably culminated with a failed steroid test on the heels of UFC 75, which he lost anyway. His one positive highlight? A win over current contender Pat Healy.
Pro record: 19-12
Sammy Morgan is one of the more anonymous members of the TUF 2 cast. He gave pro fighting a good run but dropped four straight to end his tenure.
Pro record: 14-9
Jorge Gurgel, a jiu-jitsu standout, was competing in the Strikeforce promotion before it folded. However, it doesn't appear that he made the leap to the UFC.
Pro record: 20-7
Known for his incredible toughness, Dan Christison was only finished once in his entire career and never submitted. He also went out on a winning note, taking his last four fights by stoppage, with his final bout coming in 2010.
Pro record: 5-4
Rob MacDonald didn't make much of a splash. As far as the show, he's best remembered for bugging everybody with injury complaints, especially coach Matt Hughes. Though, now that I think about it, bugging Matt Hughes is pretty fish-in-a-barrell. MacDonald went on to lose to Brad Imes via first-round chokeout in the season's third episode.
Pro record: 8-0
A showboating Rashad Evans put Tom Murphy in his place on TUF 2. But apparently Murphy learned something from that, because he never lost another fight as a pro.
Murphy took a TKO win at UFC 58 and was scheduled to fight in Northern Ireland at UFC 72, but his opponents fell through and he never got another shot. Kind of sad, actually.
Pro record: 6-6
Let's cut right to the chase here: Luke Cummo drinks his own urine. He finds it therapeutic. He was doing it even before Lyoto Machida made it cool. So that's a nice feather in Luke Cummo's cap. He's a urine pioneer, is what he is.
Cummo had a decent UFC run, hanging around for seven fights. A valiant effort in the TUF 2 finale earned him a six-figure contract, despite the fact that he lost to Joe Stevenson. During his run in the octagon, Cummo never really got over the hump against serious competition.
Pro record: 12-7
Brad Imes was nearly Kelvin Gastelum seven years before Kelvin Gastelum was Kelvin Gastelum. The last kid picked made an unlikely run to the heavyweight final, where he fell short against Rashad Evans.
Imes made the respectable decision to walk away from the sport after his chin went south. He's now a firefighter in Missouri. Good for him. And hey, he'll always have that gogoplata win over Bo Cantrell on his resume.
Pro record: 27-7
Mike Whitehead had a very long and successful pro career, with wins over guys like Mark Kerr, Ben Rothwell and Krzysztof Soszyński.
But unless something drastically changes, Whitehead will probably forever be best known as the guy who went to jail for sexual assault. In fact, he's still there now.
On the show, Whitehead was one of the favorites to run the table and land the contract. But, after he lost to Rashad Evans, Whitehead appeared to retire from the sport, though he ultimately continued on for another few years.
Pro record: 14-7
The man best known for being Tom Lawlor's comedy partner and ending the Kimbo Slice experiment will make another run in a Bellator light heavyweight tournament, beginning later this month. The promotion didn't do him any favors, though, when it slotted him in across from King Mo Lawal.
Hint for Petruzelli: Try the backfist.
Pro record: 17-11-2
It's easy to forget that Keith Jardine got his start on TUF 2. He reached the heavyweight semifinals before running into the Rashad Evans buzz saw.
These days, the Dean of Mean's revenue stream may be getting a little lean. He didn't move over to the UFC after Strikeforce folded, and declared himself semi-retired, partially because of health and safety concerns.
Pro record: 22-9-1
The silly-nicknamed Marcus "the Irish Hand Grenade" Davis is still holding his own in pro MMA. His Bellator debut was spoiled in March when opponent Waachim Spiritwolf couldn't continue after a knee to the groin—and was made even more malodorous after Davis claimed Spiritwolf had faked it.
I don't know what to do with any of that. But good for Davis, I guess? We'll see what he does in his Bellator mulligan match. In the meantime, please enjoy this photo of Davis getting kneed out by Ben Saunders in 2009. (That would be a good one to run back. Both guys are in Bellator. Just saying.)
Pro record: 25-9
He's fighting Jon Fitch this Friday in the main event of World Series of Fighting 3, and you know what? I think he's got a chance.
This Friday, Josh Burkman has no chance. Jon Fitch by unanimous decision.
Seriously, though, Burkman is a powerful wrestler who has had a good run. Since the UFC released him in 2008, Burkman has amassed a 7-1 record, including a 2-0 mark in WSOF.
Pro record: 31-15
Joe Stevenson is easily one of the most successful fighters from TUF 2. A standout wrestler and submission grappler, Stevenson was a fan favorite throughout his career and a lightweight contender for a time. He fought once for the title, and who could forget the blood bath that ensued from B.J. Penn?
Stevenson was never the same after that, and his career spiraled down until he was pushed out of the UFC. He is currently on a five-fight losing streak, with his last loss coming in 2012 under the Resurrection Fighting Alliance banner.
Pro record: 30-12-2-1
Melvin Guillard's up-and-down, promise-unfulfilled reputation began on the set of TUF 2.
Even then, big things were expected of the hard-hitting New Orleans native. But he lost in the season's second episode to Josh Burkman.
He's still plenty talented today, and will try to rebound from a two-fight losing streak when he faces Mac Danzig in July.
Pro record: 17-3-1
Rashad Evans is in the middle of the longest losing streak of his career. But the TUF 2 heavyweight champ may very well get back in the win column Saturday against Dan Henderson. But if he doesn't, Evans may have some serious decisions to make about whether that great talent (and love of fighting) is still there.
For more walks down the MMA Memory Lane and various other outbursts, follow Scott Harris on Twitter.