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UFC 88: White guarantees Evans a title shot vs. Griffin; awards $60,000 bonuses to Evans, MacDonald, Pellegrino and Tavares

Several sites, including MMAjunkie.com, are reporting that UFC President Dana White announced to members of the media last night that with his upset win over Chuck Liddell at UFC 88 last night, Rashad Evans has earned himself an immediate title shot at current champion Forrest Griffin.

“(UFC CEO) Lorenzo (Fertitta), (UFC V.P. of Talent Relations) Joe (Silva) and I got together and thought yeah, he deserves the title shot,” MMA Junkie quotes White as saying. “How could you say, ‘No, he doesn’t deserve the shot’ after [that]?”

Despite the pronouncement that Evans will receive the next title shot at 205, White stopped short of say when and where the fight between he and Griffin would take place. Speculation had indicated that with a win over Evans, Liddell would receive a title shot vs. Griffin during the UFC’s annual New Year’s Eve weekend show in Las Vegas on Dec. 27. All signs point to Griffin vs. Evans taking place on that date, but nothing has been confirmed.

Both Griffin and Evans are former winners of Spike TV and the UFC’s hit reality television show “The Ultimate Fighter.” A matchup between season one and two winners could make for an intriguing storyline.

UFC awards $60,000 bonuses to Evans, MacDonald, Pellegrino, and Tavares

The UFC also announced during the post-show press conference for UFC 88 that four of its fighters had received $60,000 bonuses. Those fighters include Evans, Jason MacDonald, Kurt Pellegrino, and Thiago Tavares.

Evans was rewarded on top of his guaranteed salary and his win bonus with a third payoff in the form of a “Knockout of the Night” bonus thanks to a one-punch knockout of Liddell at 1:51 of round 2.

MacDonald was compensated for his rear naked choke victory over Jason Lambert at 1:20 of round 2 that garnered “Submission of the Night.” The bout was the second of the night and occurred live during the preliminary card but still was shown during last night’s telecast on a tape-delay basis.

Pellegrino and Tavares were awarded $60,000 each for their respective role in what the UFC determined was “The Fight of the Night.” Pellegrino won the fight via unanimous decision in the final live fight before the pay-per-view went live. Unfortunately, the Pellegrino vs. Tavares fight was only one of two fights last night that did not make it to air. However, the fight is now available free of charge on UFC.com.

UFC 88 attendance figures are strong

According to published reports, UFC 88 at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta drew 14,736 fans for a total gate of $2.6 million.

13 COMMENTS
  • GirlyGirl says:

    Wow. Evans so does not deserve a title shot yet. One fight does NOT earn him that.

  • Mike says:

    @GirlyGirl

    You are 100% correct. One fight does not make Evans a title contender. However, an undefeated record…that does.

  • nate says:

    I dont like Rashad Evans at all (one of my top 5 most boring fighters, last night’s fight included, though the knockout was awesome) & even I would disagree with you GirlyGirl. Rashad beat Bisping, now Chuck Liddell, fought Tito (boring draw), and has an undefeated record. That is good enough to me.

  • matt says:

    Sam, if you want to edit this post, the UFC is now streaming Tavares/Pellegrino on ufc.com

  • Jay K. says:

    Another agreement that ‘Shad does NOT deserve a title fight. File this one under “Matt Serra Lucky Strike of the night”

    For the first round I thought I was watching a special presentation of the movie “The Running Man starring Kaleb Starnes” with ‘Shad Evans in the lead role.

    Alas, I too will sit down at the table and ask for a slice of humble pie as I said ‘Shad would NEVER beat Liddell. Whoops!

    😀

    Jay K.

  • dbess says:

    Girly Girl

    Evans deserves a title shot. He’s won 7 of his 8 fights in UFC and he only has a draw on his record by Tito Ortiz.

    What about Giffin? He didn’t deserve a title shot after beating Mauricio Rua and Hector Ramirez. Griffin lost to Ortiz (evans had a draw), bounced back against Bonnar (who Evans beat before Griffin), and then lost to Keith Jardine who defeated Chuck Liddell.

    There’s no room to sit here and say he doesn’t deserve a title shot. He’s not the most exciting fighter in the world, but a win is a win.

    Evans is the man for the job and that’s final.

  • Rich S. says:

    shoot,
    didn’t Dana Guaruntee a title shot to Werdum too?

    if it was Rashad i wouldn’t think anything of this..

  • Tanner says:

    one fight doesn’t earn him a title shot but when the iceman is supposedly getting the next title shot if he wins the fight and Rashad knocks iceman dead then i’d say he deserves the title shot.

  • Rich S. says:

    “if it was Rashad”

    if *I was Rashad..

  • Joey says:

    Machida should have a chance to jockey for the title. Putting Evans versus Machida makes a lot of sense too. Thank God the UFC is more interested in BS than whose the best fighter. Sorry he bores some people, but his style is at least more exciting than Couture’s

  • Damo says:

    What is starting to worry me is the fact that ‘legitimate contenders’ within the UFC are starting to line up and fighters are/will become too inactive in the meantime.

    TUF is holding things up across the board, and has been for the last few seasons. Interim titles, contractual disputes, superfights, fighters jumping up and down weight classes..

    Where do we draw the line?

  • Batman says:

    It’s good to see that kurt is taking care of business great fight. I thought he was going to win in the first round.

  • JT says:

    1st off, Evans is a great fighter! He’s more of a complete fighter, right now, than Liddell. Plus, he’s got faster hands…..um, the knockout proved it. He just doesn’t have that “star” factor that Chuck has. “Jay K” said earlier, in a previous post, that Rashad was RUNNING, but when you’re in the ring with a stand up fighter, and part of your MMA training includes boxing, well…………..YOU BOX! There’s different ways to box too, Chuck’s version is more of a brawler style, good foot work but not much head movement and he’s aggressive. Chuck comes at you. Rashad has more of boxer style, great foot work, always giving different angles, moving the head more making it harder to target. These are the things you do when you have speed on your side.

    It’s all about Forrest Griffin VS Rashad Evans now! Griffin should win by decision, but if Evans wins, it’ll be a KO or TKO.

    Guaranteed!

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