Rashad Evans Announces Retirement

Rashad Evans, former UFC light heavyweight champion and winner of season two of The Ultimate Fighter, has announced his retirement from active competition.

Evans made the announcement on the first edition of Ariel Helwani’s new show on ESPN. Evans was knocked out by Anthony Smith two weeks ago at UFC 225, marking his fifth straight loss. Following the event, UFC President Dana White said while he is grateful to have had Evans in the UFC, he hoped Evans would retire.

After competing in high school wrestling in Sanborn, New York, and in NCAA Division-I wrestling at Michigan State, Evans was trained under Dan Severn. He made his professional MMA debut on April 10, 2004, winning two fights in one night before winning a two-day tournament that June. With those five fights and wins, he was selected to compete on the second season of The Ultimate Fighter, going on to win the heavyweight tournament with a victory over Brad Imes.

Evans then dropped back to light heavyweight and continued his winning run, scoring big knockout victories over the likes of Stephan Bonner, Michael Bisping and Chuck Liddell, as well as a memorable head kick knockout against Sean Salmon.

At UFC 92, he defeated Forrest Griffin to win the UFC Light Heavyweight Title. Evans, however, lost the title in his first defense at UFC 98 against Lyoto Machida, suffering his first pro-MMA loss as well. After picking up wins over Thiago Silva, Quinton Jackson, Tito Ortiz and Phil Davis, he received another chance at the light heavyweight title but fell short against then-champion Jon Jones.

Evans’ last win came against Chael Sonnen at UFC 167 in November 2013. After various injuries kept him on the sidelines, Evans returned to the Octagon in October 2015 at UFC 192. However, Evans lost all five of his last UFC fights.

While his UFC career may have ended on a sour note, the MMA world has come out to thank Evans on a remarkable career.

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