Seemingly perpetual number one UFC light heavyweight contender Rashad Evans took the diplomatic approach today when addressing the news that Lyoto Machida will be leapfrogging him to a shot at the promotion’s current 205-pound champion, Jon Jones at UFC 140 in December. In a statement released by his management group, Authentic Sports Management, Evans explained that that the injured thumb he incurred in his UFC 133 bout with Tito Ortiz back in August will likely require an additional three weeks of rehab before he can resume training, meaning his camp would only be six-and-a-half weeks, leaving him without sufficient time to prepare for such an important bout.
“After my last fight against Tito Ortiz, I dislocated my right thumb, which required it to be set back in place and held with pins. 24 hours ago, my physician removed the pins,” Evans explained. “At that time, I learned that it would require another three weeks of rehabilitation before engaging in any exercise or training that would require the use of my hand.”
Evans also mentioned that Dana White called him to let him know what his plans were and that he gave the UFC president his blessing.
“Dana White and I spoke earlier today, and I fully understand his decision to put Machida against Jones for the title at UFC 140. Given the rehabilitation time I require for my dislocated thumb, I would not be 100 percent ready by December 10,” Evans said. “The UFC has to keep making fights that entertain the fans. I would have done the same thing as Dana in his position. I’m asking for the fans to support me as I rehabilitate my hand, and I promise I will be back fighting very quickly.”
Knowing Rashad’s luck, the winner of the bout will likely sustain an injury that will sideline him for most of 2012 and Rashad will take a fight with Phil Davis in the meantime and lose.