The UFC’s “cursed card” delivered a night of big knockouts and exciting fights.
Rashad Evans employed an effective strategy involving almost nothing but takedowns to score a unanimous decision victory over Thiago Silva in the main event of the evening. Evans, who worked his way to a light heavyweight title reign by showing flashes of knockout power and hand speed, went back to his wrestling roots in winning a close decision. Evans continually took Silva down throughout the first and second round, but Silva escaped each time before any damage could be done.
In the third and final round, Silva went on the offensive, both in terms of striking and entertainment. Growing impatient with the lack of action provided by Evans, Silva began taunting the former champ by dropping his hands and dancing. At the end of the round, however, Silva capitalized with his hands, dropping Evans with a hard right. Silva was unable to finish Evans, however, and the knockdown ultimately wasn’t enough to earn him the victory.
In the co-main event of the evening, British striker Paul Daley displayed the technical skills and power that make him one of the best strikers in all of mixed martial arts. Daley waited for opponent Dustin Hazelett to provide an opening, and when it finally happened midway through the first, Daley exploded with a left hook that dropped Hazelett to the mat. After several incredibly hard shots on the ground, Herb Dean stepped in to mercifully put an end to the bout. Hazelett was so out of sorts that he couldn’t tell the cageside doctor what year it was. Daley improves to 2-0 in the UFC, earned KO of the Night honors, and will move on to face one of the top welterweight contenders in his next bout.
Sam Stout and Joe Lauzon put on the Fight of the Night in a three-round war that saw Stout use improved takedown defense to set up his superior standup game. Lauzon nearly secured a kimura early in the first round, but Stout was able to survive and picked Lauzon apart with strikes for the rest of the bout. Stout earned a unanimous decision victory.
– Jim Miller d. Duane Ludwig via armbar (1st round, 2:31)
– Junior dos Santos d. Gilbert Yvel via TKO (1st round, 2:07)