Anthony Smith’s new life at 205 pounds has begun with a resounding win over a former light heavyweight champion.
It took “Lionheart” all of 53 seconds to land a sharp knee to the jaw of Rashad Evans from the clinch, which sent the 38-year-old Evans crashing down to the canvas in the opening round of their Fight Pass preliminary bout at UFC 225 on Saturday at the United Center in Chicago.
A couple of follow-up strikes later and the bout was quickly waved off. It was the fourth win in five fights for Smith, who previously competed in the UFC’s middleweight division.
Evans has now lost five straight bouts and he hasn’t picked up a win since defeating Chael Sonnen back at UFC 167 on Nov. 16, 2013. This marked Evans’s return to 205 pounds — the weight class in which he once held championship gold — after an 0-2 run at middleweight.
Prior to the bout, Evans discussed possibly retiring with a win on Saturday.