Wow. That's all you can say after watching Rashad Evans' knockout of Chuck Liddell. Actually, you could also say "OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" which is what everyone said at the viewing party I attended. Evans put himself on the map with the KO of Liddell and now has been granted a shot at Forrest Griffin for the light heavyweight championship. Evans certainly elevated his game to elite status with the win and Liddell is left in a confusing position, having lost three of his last four fights.
He's not ready to give it up, nor should he, as he's still top 10 in the weight class and is a huge money draw. Should Forrest lose his belt (I think he will) I imagine the UFC will still get the teacher vs. student bout but with less fanfare.
Dan Henderson didn't look terrific in his first UFC win in a decade as I thought Rousimar Palhares was going to submit him a couple different times. Fairly forgettable and while he wants a rematch with Silva, I think Silva would finish him quicker the second time around.
On the other hand, I was very impressed with Rich Franklin's dismantling of Matt Hamill. Hamill took a slight step backwards and it puzzles me why he refuses to take advantage of his wrestling. Franklin, meanwhile, exhibited superior striking and could be a force at the LHW level if he gains some weight. Franklin needed the win more and with it he's at an exciting crossroads in his career. Ace may still have some gas left in the tank to put together a run for the title.
As for the nitty gritty, gate numbers and fight bonuses, check out MMA Junkie.
Overall, it was a good not great show and worth the money. What did you think? What's next for Liddell? Will Evans win the title? How far can Franklin go?