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Former MSU wrestler Evans named to UFC Hall of Fame

Rashad Evans

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State wrestling alumnus "Suga" Rashad Evans ('03) was named to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 18, joining Michael Bisping in the class of 2019.

The 2019 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Friday, July 5, during the UFC's 8th annual UFC International Fight Week, and will be streamed live on UFC FIGHT PASSĀ® starting at 10 p.m. ET.

Evans enters the UFC Hall of Fame as a member of the Modern Wing, joining Forrest Griffin, BJ Penn, Urijah Faber, Ronda Rousey and Michael Bisping. The UFC deems the "Modern Era" as athletes who turned pro on or after November 17, 2000, are a minimum age of 35, or have been retired for one year or more.

A native of Niagara Falls, New York, Evans amassed a 48-34 record on the mat for Michigan State which included two trips to the NCAA Championships at 174 pounds. While in East Lansing, Evans placed fourth at the 2002 Big Ten Championships prior to taking third during his senior campaign. Evans is most notably one of four collegiate wrestlers to ever defeat Greg Jones (126-4), a three-time national champion from West Virginia University.

Prior to joining the Spartans, Evans was the 165 pound champion at the 2000 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Championships as a member of Niagara County Community College's wrestling program.

As a member of the UFC, Evans compiled a record of 14-8-1 (24-8-1 overall), which includes winning season two of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) and becoming the undisputed UFC light heavyweight champion following a third-round knockout of Forrest Griffin at UFC 92. During his UFC career Evans defeated MMA legends such as Chuck Liddell, "Rampage" Jackson, Chael Sonnen, Dan Henderson, Tito Ortiz, Thiago Silva, Bisping, and Griffin.

Evans' Hall of Fame resume includes being one of eight TUF winners to become a UFC champion, his 20 fight UFC career is tied for first in modern light heavyweight history, his 50 takedowns are second in modern light heavyweight history, and his six wins by KO/TKO ranked third all-time in the light heavyweight division.

His retirement from mixed martial arts was announced on June 25, 2018 following the final fight of his career at UFC 225. Evans currently resides in Boca Raton, Florida and works as an analyst for ESPN alongside training MMA athletes at Henri Hooft's Hard Knocks 365 gym.

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