Watching Rashad Evans and Chael Sonnen fight tonight, you'd have no idea the two men had a hard time putting their friendship aside to do battle.
The tone was set when the UFC Tonight broadcast partners chose to forego the glove touch and get straight to business. Though Sonnen came out of the gates hot, he was shut down early and never regained momentum. Evans thwarted a takedown attempt from Sonnen and eventually worked for one of his own. Once he got on top of Sonnen, it was the beginning of the end.
Evans uncorked a ferocious assault of punches and elbows while Sonnen tried desparetely to improve his position. Though active from his back, Sonnen couldn't do enough to keep Evans from landing the mean elbow that allowed his opponent to take full mount. Battered, Sonnen eventually went belly down and was flattened out by Evans, riding back mount. Evans let loose a barrage of hard punches from that position and referee Herb Dean was forced to call a halt to the bout at 4:05 of the first round.
The loss brings Sonnen to 29-14-1 and stops the momentum he built with a quick submission win over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua this August. Sonnen is now 1-3 in his last four bouts. The win makes it two in a row for Evans, who took a close decision over Dan Henderson in June.
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