Ortiz put up a good fight, but he wasn't in the same class as Evans, who hurt him with ground and pound at the end of the first round and finished him with ground and pound at the end of the second round.
The official time of Evans' technical knockout victory was 4 minutes, 48 seconds of the second round.
"I feel great," Evans said afterward. "I feel like all the hard work, all the trials and tribulations have paid off."
The first round featured four minutes of back-and-forth action, with Ortiz successfully taking Evans down, Evans landing repeated punches to Ortiz's head, and Ortiz landing big knees to Evans' body. But with a minute to go in the first round Evans took control: Evans picked Ortiz up, slammed him to the ground, and bashed him until the round ended.
Ortiz looked tentative at the start of the second round after the way Evans hurt him at the end of the first, but when Evans went for a takedown, Ortiz sunk in a guillotine choke and had it tight. Evans did, however, manage to pull his head free, and once he did he transitioned into side control. From there Evans just kept going at Ortiz, and Ortiz began to weaken. With about 30 seconds left in the second round Evans landed a big knee to Ortiz's midsection, and when Ortiz keeled over, Evans finished him off with punches to the head.
The victory improves Evans' record to 16-1-1 and earns him a shot at the UFC light heavyweight title, which will be contested between Jon Jones and Rampage Jackson next month.
"I'm getting my belt back," Evans said.
Ortiz, who falls to 16-9-1, deserves credit for taking the fight on short notice, and giving it his all. But he acknowledged afterward, "Rashad beat me at my best. ... Rashad's the better man."
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