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LAS VEGAS – The fight billed as the biggest grudge match in Ultimate Fighting Championship history was a technical battle – and that was decidedly the kind of fight Rashad Evans wanted.
Evans won a unanimous decision over Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in the main event of UFC 114 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, getting scores of 30-27 twice and 29-28 from the judges. Yahoo! Sports also had it 30-27 for Evans. The win gets him a shot at the UFC light heavyweight title against champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Both former light heavyweight champions, Evans was far faster than Jackson and used his speed to avoid Jackson's vaunted punching power. Only once in the fight did Jackson mount any sustained offense, when he landed a combination and then some shots on the ground.
Evans landed a big overhand right to start the fight that sent Jackson back to the cage, but they spent much of the round grappling against the cage.
Evans, a wrestler at Michigan State, took Jackson down several times and never allowed him to get into the fight.
Even after Jackson's flurry in the third, Evans got up and landed a combination and was hurting Jackson while they were on the ground.
On the undercard, Michael Bisping managed to stay on his feet almost the entire fight against black belt Dan Miller, and that was the difference in pulling out a unanimous decision in the co-main event.
The judges scored it 30-27 twice and 29-28 for Bisping, who was coming off a loss to Wanderlei Silva at UFC 110.
Mike Russow scored a stunning knockout in the third round of heavily touted prospect Todd Duffee in a heavyweight fight. Duffee was dominating throughout, but Russow, a Chicago police officer, cracked Duffee with a crushing right hand.
He landed a second as Duffee was falling, but the fight was over when the first landed. The time of the knockout was 2:35 of the third round.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira scored a controversial win over Jason Brilz, a late replacement for Forrest Griffin, who had to pull out because he needed shoulder surgery. Brilz nearly submitted Nogueira in the second round and won over the crowd, but the judges gave Nogueira a split decision. Two judges had it 29-28 for Nogueira and one had it 29-28 for Brilz.
In the other main card bout, John Hathaway banged Diego Sanchez with a crushing knee in the first round and went on to an impressive unanimous-decision win.
- Rashad Evans