Rashad Evans implemented a near-flawless game plan for two rounds, chock-full of striking, grappling, and clinching. In the third frame, however, Evans wasn't nearly as attacking and it almost cost him the fight.
Thiago Silva landed a combination that left Evans wobbledy wobbledy.
Fortunately for Evans, Silva stopped his assault, most likely gassed. Apparently taunting your opponent to abandon his strategy isn't a tireless job after all.
What other explanation could there be for the young Brazilian putting his hands on his hips and failing to finish what could have been the unraveling of "Suga's" candy-coated scheme.
While Evans won the battle, he may have lost the war.
Evans displayed the dexterity to use his striking and speed to set up his take downs, something he will need to master to remain competitive with light heavyweight's best.
But his defensive miscue in the final frame could be the most tell-tale sign of the evening.
When Evans steps into the octagon with "Rampage" Jackson, hopefully this summer, he wont have the luxury of resting on the wrestling laurels.
Jackson wont be nearly as accommodating as Silva was in allowing takedowns, forcing Evans to stay standing longer than his chin may allow him to.
Evans, and his trainer Greg Jackson, will no doubt come up with a blue print tailor made to deal with the "Rampage" of Jackson...let's just hope their design includes Evans in it from start to finish.