Why Rashad Evans Lost

I’m going to switch gears a little more and do some fight analysis.

Evans on the mat... in a much different way than he is used to!
Evans on the mat... in a much different way than he is used to!

Today I was watching the Evans/Machida fight (great website, by the way) at a coffee shop with one of my students. I only saw the match once, but noticed a huge number of elementary mistakes that shocks me have never been capitalized upon before. It’s obvious Evans has the wrong people training him, or he doesn’t listen to his trainers, or he is self-training (which goes back to the first reason… wrong people in his corner). Let’s get right to business and discuss these things.

  1. The commentator mentions he has a boxing trainer. WRONG. If he allows Evans to drop his jab the way he did throughout the entire fight–and then never even use his jab–he needs to fire his trainer, and get a real boxing coach. Had Evans learned to really use his hands for something besides throw parking lot punches and hang his gloves, most of those exchanges would have never happened. He needs to learn how to punch, punch in combination, and go back to basics with learning how to box–or go and study Karate for a lifetime, train in tournaments for a lifetime, and then ask Machida for a rematch. He tried to fight Machida’s fight and it failed him miserably. Too many people, especially fighters, are misled to believe that stand up fighting is so easy that you can be self-taught and just train hard and then hang with the experts. Wrong.
  2. Stop listening to the bullshit about grappling beats stand up every time. Respect the stand up fighter for being just as much a warrior as you are, then stop stand-up fighting (yes, it conflicts with #1, but there are many paths to victory… real fighters know what I’m about to say) and do what you do, brother:  wrestle. Learn how to beat the Karate man’s game with YOUR game. You will never match him if you try to fight his fight. Maybe it worked with the sloppy punchers and kickers, but you just found out what it’s like to fight the big boys. And good Lord, DON’T look up a Karate expert! Find a strategy using what you know and just refine it!
  3. His front foot was always inside Machida’s front foot. Best place to be if you were a grappler, but worst place to be if you were a stand-up fighter. But even worse  than that; he was a grappler posing as a stand-up fighter. He should have been aware of his fighting position (not stance, position) and stayed out of Machida’s line of fire. Either that, or use that position’s advantage:  taking Machida down.
  4. He circled into the direction of Machida’s rear leg kicks. Going the other direction would have forced Machida to change strategy possibly into a lesser-trained strategy. Yes it is a gamble, but you never know.
  5. Evans’ corner either told him he was doing well, or he didn’t listen to his corner, or they didn’t tell him shit in between rounds. I say this because his fight plan did not change one iota from round one to round two. If Machida had a plan or a trap, you fell right into it, because you failed to
  6. Study your opponent. It’s obvious you did not, and he did. You even failed to study him during the fight. See #5 for why I say this. Find out his strengths and weaknesses and then plan what you should do. But don’t ever keep the same plan if the one you’re enacting is failing you.
  7. Get a real boxing trainer, and approach day one not as a Champion MMA fighter, but as a novice boxer and learn how to use those hands. I can’t stress his enough.

An older gentleman walked up while we were watching the fight and commented that you “looked lost”. You looked that way, because you were. You did not know what to do, and your corner obviously did not know what to do. The sad thing is that you have the skills to have at least put up a better fight (and possibly win) but even the most basic things you could have done were missing and no one (I think, could be wrong) in your corner could tell you how to turn the fight around.

Wanna piece a me?  Karate Dojos across America will owe this man a lot!
Wanna piece a me? Karate Dojos across America will owe this man a lot!

Rashad Evans, if you happen to catch this article, don’t get pissed… just try something different for a change. Here is what you should do:

  • Get a copy of Good to Great, and ponder over how this “business” of fighting could be applied to you. You failed to use your Hedgehog, you failed to get the right people on the bus, and you failed to utilize the Brutal Reality (I just gave you some right now).
  • Call me. No, no–come down to Sacramento and train with me. Spend 2 months and I will send you back into the ring ALONE and you’ll beat him in a rematch. Or you could just go back to doing the same old thing you’ve been doing and repeat the cycle.

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