UFC 223: Bec Rawlings loses to Ashlee Evans-Smith; drops to 2-5 inside promotion

Australian women’s fighter Bec Rawlings is on the edge of being cut by the promotions after losing her fourth straight bout inside the Octagon earlier today.

The 29-year-old who is now back home training with United Fight Team in Brisbane, lost to Ashlee Evans-Smith who herself was in need of a win after losing her last two.

The two fought on the preliminary portion of the UFC 223 card held in Barclays Center in Brooklyn, USA earlier today AEST.

It would be the American who pressed the action early in the fight out-landing Rawlings who stayed on the back foot. Evans-Smith worked punches and low-kicks for the majority of the first round as Rawlings slowly came into it but a short takedown late in the round all but secured the first round for Ashlee.

Rawlings started more aggressively in the second round as she came forward, landing particular with a strong right. Evans-Smith started to mix her shots up as the two fighters mixed it up inside the pocket but for every one shot Rawlings was throwing, Evans-Smith threw two with the American unsuccessful with two takedown attempts.

Both showed great cardio and gave it their all in the last round with the output from Evans-Smith being the ultimate difference despite Rawlings landing a higher percentage of strikes throughout the fight. A hard one-two late in the fight popped Rawlings head as the Australian increased her tempo in the final minute but in the end, the decision was unanimous with Evans-Smith sweeping the cards 30-27, 30-27 and 30-27.

In a social media post the Aussie didn’t make any excuses for the loss, acknowledging she felt the best she ever has and admitted that should have had more output. She also acknowledged her position in the company is now in the hands of the UFC and hopes the promotion sees how much she grown and improved over the time.

Well it is what it is.. i felt the best I’ve ever felt our there, calm, composed & relaxed. I definitely see where i should have had more output but didn’t feel i needed to because i was catching & blocking a majority of what Ashlee threw. I’m happy i was able to showcase I’ve evolved & am now using more weapons. I’ve only been working with my coach John Bastable @unitedfightteam.aus for 4 months & i already feel like a completely different fighter, sucks that the judges didn’t give it to me but I’m happy i stuck to my game plan. Hopefully the @ufc sees I’ve grown as a fighter & appreciates i always come to fight. I’m healthy & ready to go again so my future with the UFC is in their hands & im grateful for being able to do what i love on the world stage, thank you Ashlee for the fight & sorry i didn’t realise you were trying to touch gloves lol!! #UFC223 #ufc #loanu #unitedfightteam #rowdybec @seanshelby @mickmaynard2 @danawhite @ericdelfierro

A post shared by Bec Rawlings (@rowdybec) on

In main card action on the event, Rose Namajunas proved that her first victory over Joanne Jedrzejczyk was no fluke as she again defeated the former champion, this time via unanimous decision after five hard fought rounds. It was Namajunas’ first title defense of her UFC strawweight belt.

Khabib Nurmagomedov put on an dominant performance to defeat a game Al Iaquinta in the main event and in doing so, claiming the UFC lightweight title belt. The Russian dominated where ever the fight took place but found it hard in the late rounds to get the fight to ground, securing just one out of six attempts. Nurmagomedov was able to dominate the stand-up battle, utilising a stiff jab to take home the unanimous decision. Nurmagomedov moves to an impressive 26-0.

Main Card:

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Al Iaquinta via Decision (Unanimous) – UFC lightweight title
  • Rose Namajunas (c) def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via Decision (Unanimous) – UFC women’s strawweight title
  • Renato Moicano def. Calvin Kattar via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Kyle Bochniak via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Chris Gruetzemacher def. Joe Lauzon via TKO (Corner Stoppage), Rd 2, 5:00

Preliminary Card:

  • Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Felice Herrig via Decision (Split)
  • Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Evan Dunham via TKO (Knee & Punches), Rd 1, 0:53
  • Ashlee Evans-Smith def. Bec Rawlings (Australia) via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Devin Clark def. Mike Rodriguez via Decision (Unanimous)