Today one of the UFC’s most prolific veterans Rashad Evans officially announced his retirement from the sport. Entering the UFC as the winner of the second season of The Ultimate Fighter, Rashad went on to amass twenty-three appearances and over thirteen years with the company. During his UFC career, Rashad reached the pinnacle of his division, becoming the eighth official Light-Heavyweight champion at UFC 92 in 2008. Although Rashad will be ending his career on a five-fight losing streak, with a 14-8-1 UFC record, I would like to look back on and remember him for the incredible fighter he once was. This is a list of the top three finishes of Rashad Evans‘ career.
Three – Iconic Head-Kick KO of Sean Salmon
Whenever the UFC plays a highlight reel of all time great knockouts, Rashad Evans’ head-kick KO of Sean Salmon is undoubtedly part of it. If you are a long time fan of the sport it is likely that you have seen this KO more times than you can count. This may very well be the most highlight-worthy finish of Rashad’s career but it ultimately falls short on this list because of the level of opponent. Regardless, this is a fantastic KO and a landmark moment in Rashad’s career.
Two – Championship Winning TKO Win over Forrest Griffin
This isn’t the most impressive or highlight worthy finish of Rashad’s career but it may be the most meaningful. This fight took place at UFC 92 in December of 2008 and was the fight in which Rashad captured the Light-Heavyweight title. This fight, to me, is a showcase of Rashad Evans at his peak. After two tightly contested rounds, both presumably being scored for Forrest Griffin, Rashad was able to make a vital adjustment in round three and change the dynamic of the fight. Taking the fight to the ground for the first time all night, Rashad immediately began to overwhelm Griffin with strikes before eventually finishing him with brutal ground and pound at the halfway point of round 3. This finish is a highlight of Rashad Evans at his peak in both performance and career progression. It is without a doubt one of his greatest finishes.
One – Brutal Overhand KO of Chuck Liddell
Very few knockouts in UFC history are as memorable or as viscera as Rashad’s KO of Chuck Liddell. This finish is as devastating as it is iconic. In the thirteenth fight of his career, facing his toughest opponent to date, Rashad Evans delivered an absolutely perfect performance — brutally knocking out his legendary opponent in the second round, earning himself a shot at the title. This finish is by far the greatest of Rashad’s career and is one of the all-time greatest knockouts to take place in the UFC.