Griffin stalks the challenger around the cage, but Rashad connects first with a left hand. Grffin misses on a low kick. Griffin loads up a right hand that nearly connects. Griffin lands a low kick and a foot to the body. Evans returns the favor with a hard low kick of his own. The champion throws three jabs but they all fall short of their target. Griffin abandons his jab with a punching flurry and is cracked with a straight right to the ribs and a low kick. The champion again goes at Evans’ left leg with a kick. Evans switches to a southpaw stance to avoid punishment on the leg. He switches back to orthodox and gets the best of a punching exchange. A hard body punch prompts Griffin to take a deep breath.
Griffin takes the center of the cage and moves toward Evans. Griffin lands a low kick and a right hand. Griffin gets busy from the Thai clinch with knees to the chin and body. Evans eats a punch and then taunts the champion by blowing a kiss and then touching his athletic cup. Evans, still smiling, absorbs another low kick to his left leg. And two more. Griffin is scoring big with his low kicks. The challenger attempts to kick back but his balance has been affected by the abuse to his legs. Evans connects with a clean straight counter right to the chin. Griffin shakes it off and stays busy with kicks and punches from the outside. A hard right from the champion closes the period.
Griffin slips during an exchange and is forced to work from his back. Evans pounds away with punches from both hands as referee Steve Mazzagatti looks on closely. Griffin hangs on and recovers enough to attempt a triangle choke and an omaplata. Evans lands five hard right hands from the top position that hurt the champion. Evans pours it on with left-handed power shots until Griffin taps out from the abuse. Rashad Evans claims the UFC light heavyweight title at 2:46 of the third round.