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Rashad Evans closes door on drop down to middleweight, looking to fight Glover Teixeira
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans had a big night as a corner man last night, backing both Tyrone Spong and JZ Cavalcante to impressive wins at WSOF 4. Evans was pumped up about the wins, noting that Cavalcante is a very dangerous fighter when his mind is right for the bout. Speaking to MMA H.E.A.T., Evans soon turned the conversation to his next move as a fighter.
After being challenged by Dana White to prove that his heart was still truly in the fight game, Evans responded well with a close split decision win over Dan Henderson in the main event of June’s UFC 161. Without a clear-cut direction, Evans is in a sort of no-man’s land at 205, noticeably better than most of the contenders but having a lost to a dominant champion in Jon Jones.
Perhaps because of that, Evans has been rumored to make a move down to middleweight and make a run towards the title there. However, that simply is not the case, as Evans officially closed the door on that prospect last night. He also has a potential blockbuster fight in mind:
“I’m staying at 205. I feel more comfortable at 205. It makes no sense for me to drop down to 185 to be pretty much in the same position I am. It’s not easy. Making it to 185 would be really hard for me. Everybody’s talking about Glover Teixeira. You know, he’s one of the guys that everybody say’s he’s the man.”
That could be a great matchup, but it may never come to be. Teixeira, with a win over Ryan Bader at UFC Fight Night on September 4th, could definitely find himself fighting the winner of the September 21st title bout between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. So it’s still tough to decipher just who Rashad Evans’ next opponent will be.
Evans moved on to discuss the controversial fight between Phil Davis and Lyoto Machida in the co-main event of UFC 163:
“Man, I was happy for Phil. Phil went out there, he fought a really good fight. It could have went either way. It could have really went either way. It all came up to the first round. Lyoto didn’t really do too much to majorly win it, but I could see he could have had the edge. But then when Phil took him, down, it all depends, he did take him down at the last minute, so I don’t know man, it’s a hard one. I was pretty impressed with Phil.”
It looks like Evans has quite the accurate description of current events in the UFC light heavyweight landscape, and understandably so. He may have just another title run left in him, but he is still at a career crossroads. His next fight will be pivotal in determining the direction of his career’s twilight. If it does happen to be versus Teixeira, it could end up being the fight of Rashad Evans’ life.