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UFC 108: Rashad Evans Beats Thiago Silva by Decision

Rashad Evans managed to hold on and survive a tough fight with Thiago Silva Saturday night at UFC 108, winning by unanimous decision despite nearly being knocked out in the third round.

Evans then went on to take a verbal shot at his rival Rampage Jackson, who backed out of a scheduled fight with Evans to take a role in the upcoming A-Team movie. Evans said he wants to fight Rampage just as soon as Rampage is ready to get back into the Octagon.

"I hear there's an actor that came back to the fight game in the UFC," Evans said. "Rampage I know you're watching. Let's get it on."

In the main event, Evans immediately went on the attack and clinched Silva against the cage, and he showed that he wanted to use his experience as a former Michigan State wrestler to his advantage, taking Silva downmultiple times in the first round. Silva seemed uncomfortable early on because of the way Evans was clinching with him. It was a very good first round for Evans.

It was more of the same in the second round, with Evans coming in by throwing hard punches and then clinching with Silva and taking him down again. Silva did manage to land a couple of hard punches in the latter portion of the round, but Evans responded with yet another takedown.

The third round got off to a good start for Evans, but midway through the third Silva started to turn the tide, and he landed a couple of powerful strikes that had Evans seriously hurt. A big left-right combination wobbled Evans, and Silva followed it up by knocking Evans to the ground with a right-left. But Evans managed to hold on and survive the round.

"I think Thiago could have finished him in that round, but he gassed out," UFC president Dana White commented at the post-fight conference.

All three judges scored it 29-28 for Evans. I scored it 29-28 for Evans as well.

"I didn't realize how hard it was until I tried to take a step back and was like, 'Where are my legs at?'" Evans said after the fight of the hard punch that wobbled him.

From top to bottom, UFC 108 was an incredibly exciting fight card, with not a boring bout to be found. Although the card lost several marquee fighters to injuries and illnesses, the card delivered.

In the co-main event, Paul Daley showed why many MMA observers consider him the most powerful puncher in the welterweight division, knocking out Dustin Hazelett with a brutal left hook in the first round. Daley isn't a well-rounded mixed martial artist, and he still has a lot of work to do in the ground game, but he's being talked about as a possible future title contender.

The pay-per-view fight card got off to an exciting start when Junior dos Santos knocked out Gilbert Yvel with a hard punch of his own in the first round. The 25-year-old dos Santos is one of the UFC's best heavyweight prospects.

The most exciting fight of the night may have been the back-and-forth battle between Sam Stout and Joe Lauzon, in which Stout won a unanimous decision after Lauzon had initially badly hurt Stout and nearly finished him on the ground. Lauzon (whose brother Dan also fought on Saturday night) gave it a good effort, but Stout's striking was too much for him.

All those injuries and illnesses to marquee fighters led to some talk that UFC 108 was cursed. But no one who purchased this card on pay-per-view will complain: With six first-round finishes on the card, it was a thrilling start to 2010 for the UFC.

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