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Shots After The Bell: Rashad Evans continues to struggle at UFC Fight Night: Mexico City

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The card’s biggest name continues his skid further down the middleweight division with another listless loss.

For a small card in Mexico City with Rashad Evans as its biggest name, UFC Fight Night 114 was way more entertaining than many expected it to be. A closer look at the event gave you a hint of what was to come, with blood and guts fighters like Alan Jouban, Brandon Moreno, and Randa Markos on deck. Mexico loves a scrap, and this card was filled from top to bottom with them, resulting in seven first round finishes and a couple of wars that went to decision. And one that did not. Let’s talk about that one first.

Sugar Rashad Is No Longer So Sweet

As we mentioned, UFC Fight Night: Mexico City was light on star power but it did have The Ultimate Fighter 2 winner Rashad Evans, who held the light heavyweight title during the TUF Noob era. Yet the guy didn’t even make it onto the poster or most promotional material and placement wise he was one fight away from jerking the curtain on the FS1 main card.

Just based on his name recognition (and 150k/150k pay) that seems strange, but after seeing him fight these days you understand why. Putting him in the co-main position is a recipe for over-promising and leaving fans upset. This is not the Rashad Evans that knocked out Liddell and Griffin to take the belt. This is the same Rashad we saw in his past three fights that’s so gun shy we wonder what he’s doing in the cage at all.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Alvey vs EvansMiguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports

As if Brian Stann repeating over and over that Rashad Evans isn’t this tentative in the gym didn’t hamme the fact home, Evans landed only 17 significant strikes in the fight, getting lapped by his opponent Alvey (40), who isn’t exactly an output machine himself. Back when Rashad was dropping fights to the Baders and Teixeiras of the organization, we could wonder if he was just rusty and needed to restart a little lower on the ladder. But with his latest losses to Daniel Kelly and Sam Alvey, we’ve learned his poor performances are the new normal.

If he was fighting well and losing hard, it might be another story. But Rashad fights lack passion and are getting reputations as stinkers from fans before they even happen. Evans just hasn’t been the same since that loss to Jon Jones back in April of 2012. It’s so passé to suggest retirement, but the guy is 37 and has some kind of mental block keeping him from performing to his potential in the cage. Maybe a Rocky style montage could turn things around, but if it happens it will probably be on the prelims next time if its in the UFC at all.

The Agony Of Show / Win Contracts

Another one! Three times @AndreSoukMMA drops his opponent | #UFCMexico

— UFC (@ufc) August 6, 2017

I know it’s prizefighting and all, but the UFC’s standard contract splitting pay in half down a show / win line can be pretty brutal. For example, think of Andre Soukhamthath, who had a FOTN quality fight against Alejandro Perez but lost a questionable decision (after knocking down Perez three times in the fight, no less). But hey, don’t leave it in the hands of the judges and all that. For that sin, Andre made $10k instead of $20k and is now sitting on a 0-2 record in the UFC.

Back to a 9 to 5 for me

— Andre Soukhamthath (@AndreSoukMMA) August 6, 2017

That’s some pretty brutal reality right there. At the bottom end of the UFC, these fighters are still competing to pay bills and keep their families afloat. Money wise, chasing their UFC dream is a quest that sits somewhere between financially irresponsible and completely foolhardy. And it goes pretty far up the card. Guys like Rashad Evans making six figures per fight off their legacy got to come to Mexico City a month out to acclimatize. Co-main fighter Randa Markos, whose last disclosed pay was $14k, did not.

That was a WAR! @AlexaGrasso gets the split decision victory! #UFCMexico

— UFC (@ufc) August 6, 2017

The fight game is already such a brutal sport, and it’s one where each fight has a loser. Back in the days where the Fertittas wandered the locker rooms handing out post fight bonuses like candy, the harsh show / win contracts split down the middle 50/50 weren’t as terrible. But that money has largely disappeared these days. It’s probably not going to happen anytime soon, but when UFC fighters inevitably do unionize, I hope one of the first things to go is the show / win system.

A Bit Of Much Needed Polish

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Pettis vs MorenoMiguel Tovar-USA TODAY Sports

Did anyone else notice the quality of the pre-fight promos has gone up a couple of notches for this event? With so many quick finishes, we got to see the Pettis vs Moreno teaser a couple of times over the evening, and I ain’t even care. Hopefully this is something WME-IMG is actively working at. It’s hard to have people care about all the fighters when you have 600 guys on your roster fighting for 8 hours every other Saturday. But a good promo goes a long way, telling a fighter’s story and giving you a reason to stay tuned in to root for your guy. More of this, please!


Heads up @ufc… this guy is the WORST translator ever! #ufcfightnight #translator #pettisvsmoreno #MexicoCity

— Mari Rodriguez (@MariRod511) August 6, 2017

And last but not least, shout out to the UFC Fight Night: Mexico City translator, who never heard a fighter’s answer that he didn’t mangle the translation to Spanish for. Even the most simple of lines like “I love Mexico City!” got ignored. Sergio Pettis telling the crowd his mother is Mexican got no pop … because the translator didn’t relay that info to the crowd.

UFC fighter: 5 minutes worth of answer

Translator: 1 word#UFCMexico

— Alex M (@ModernFutureAM) August 6, 2017

I get that it’s probably not easy to find someone who can translate all the languages you might encounter across Central and South America on the fly with thousands of people cheering. But a better job could have been done last night, and the crowd missed out on some heartwarming victory speeches because if it.

Source:: mma mania