Fighting for the first time since losing the light heavyweight title to Lyoto Machida in May, Evans relied on his wrestling to grind his way to victory, moving forward with punch combinations to setup takedowns at will over the opening two rounds before surviving a flurry from Silva in the third to earn the judge’s decision.
Evans improves to 14-1-1 with the win and remains in contention at 205-pounds, but is likely to fight rival Quinton “Rampage” Jackson next before potentially getting another shot at the belt. Silva drops to 14-2 after suffering just his second career defeat, but is only 1-2 in his last 3 bouts, including his own loss to Machida a year ago.
In the UFC 108 co-headliner, Dustin Hazelett held a clear advantage on the ground over striker Paul Daley, but made no attempt to get the fight to the canvas, instead trading strikes on the feet with Daley before the British welterweight took him out with punches midway through the opening frame.
Daley, now 23-8-2, has won four-straight and back-to-back UFC bouts to move up the 170-pound ladder, while Hazelett falls to 12-5 with the loss.
Stout Tops Lauzon in Brawl; Miller, Dos Santos Victorious
In a thrilling lightweight brawl, Sam Stout delivered the best performance of his career, topping returning lightweight Joe Lauzon by unanimous decision. Stout put on a striking clinic in the main card bout, but had to escape several submissions to make it to the final bell and earn the win.
Jim Miller turned the tables on fellow lightweight Duane Ludwig, dropping the striker with punches before locking in an armbar to finish the fight in the first.
Heavyweight up-and-comer Junior dos Santos remained unbeaten and picked up his fourth-straight first-round knockout in the UFC, taking out Gilbert Yvel with punches in the main card opener.
Kampmann, Miller, Munoz, Ellenberger, Oliveira Win on Prelims
Martin Kampmann and Cole Miller each scored quick submissions on the Spike TV preliminary card, with Kampmann choking out Jacob Volkmann with a guillotine in the opening frame while Miller transitioned from an inverted triangle to a kimura to tap Dan Lauzon in the first.
Mark Munoz, Jake Ellenberger, and Rafaello Oliveira were also victorious on the UFC 108 undercard.
The official results for “UFC 108: Evans vs. Silva” were:
- Rashad Evans def. Thiago Silva via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Paul Daley def. Dustin Hazelett via KO (punches) – Round 1, 2:24
- Sam Stout def. Joe Lauzon via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jim Miller def. Duane Ludwig via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 2:31
- Junior dos Santos def. Gilbert Yvel via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:07
- Martin Kampmann def. Jacob Volkmann via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 4:03
- Cole Miller def. Dan Lauzon via submission (inverted triangle to kimura) – Round 1, 3:05
- Mark Munoz def. Ryan Jensen via submission (strikes) – Round 1, 2:30
- Jake Ellenberger def. Mike Pyle via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 0:22
- Rafaello Oliveira def. John Gunderson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Pictured: Rashad Evans