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Read on for UFC 192 co-main event results
Nearly two years out of the Octagon due to injury didn’t help Rashad Evans in his UFC 192 co-main event Saturday, but the main reason he lost his comeback bout at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas was the man throwing punches at him all night, Ryan Bader, who made his case for a future shot at the light heavyweight title by shutting out Evans over three rounds.
“I made up my mind that I was going to be the best, and you’re seeing that right now,” Bader, winner of five straight, said.
All three judges saw it 30-27 for the number four-ranked Bader, now 21-4. The number five-ranked Evans, whose last bout was a win over Chael Sonnen in November of 2013, falls to 24-4-1.
Confident from the start, Bader led the action as the bout began, with hard kicks, stiff jabs and sneaky right uppercuts doing well for him as Evans tried to counter. Evans got in some sporadic shots, but not enough to take the round.
After some more effective striking to kick off the second stanza, Bader got his first two takedowns of the fight in the second minute. The 36-year-old Evans bounced up immediately both times, but Bader kept the pressure on against the fence before the two broke. By now, Evans’ right eye was beginning to swell shut, and the former world champion began to press Bader even harder, landing his right hand a couple times before the horn ended the frame.
The work rate of both men dropped in the first half of the final round, leaving it up for grabs in the final 2:30. Bader started that second half with a thudding kick to the body, and a close range elbow added to the Arizonan’s overall lead. Evans did swing his patented right with bad intentions and even threw in a head kick in the final minute, but a takedown by Bader with less than 30 seconds left put an exclamation mark on the win.
More from UFC 192: Post-fight bonus recap | Full results | Fight statistics | Fight Night Blog | Cormier outlasts Gustafsson to win by split decision | Bader wins by unanimous decision in co-main |Pena, Benavidez and Magomedov go distance in wins |KO’s, subs and more in UFC 192 prelims | Northcutt impressive in debut | Lewis, S. Pettis win early| Watch: Rose Namajunas talks to Megan Olivi backstage