Rashad Evans was planning to snap a 2 fight losing streak as well as make a welterweight debut at UFC 205. Going against fellow veteran Tim Kennedy in New York, this was suppose to his second coming out party after his first were rained on by Ryan Bader and then abruptly by Glover Teixeira. But alas, the hits just keep on coming, the former light heavyweight champion will have his dreams halted once again with recent news of his medical issues pulling him from the card.
Outside of his occasional appearances in the FOX studio as an analyst, Rashad Evans has become an increasingly unfamiliar face to MMA fans in recent years. Following a particularly stubborn series of leg injuries that forced the former light heavyweight champion out of potential bouts with Daniel Cormierand Alexander Gustafsson among others, “Suga” returned to the cage for the first time since 2013 back in October, dropping a unanimous decision to Ryan Bader in a performance that seemed to signal that the 12-year veteran’s time as an elite 205er had come and gone.
At first, Saturday’s UFC on FOX 19 event seemed like it could be the perfect stage for Evans to mount a comeback. The TUF 2 winner and TUF 10 coach was set to face Mauricio Rua, a cagey-but-declining veteran facing many of the same career woes as himself, and was being listed as the early favorite across the board. Of course, Rua then went down with an injury, and Evans was instead paired against the incredibly dangerous Glover Teixeira instead.
When Evans and Teixeira met in the middle of the octagon at Saturday’s event, the former’s air of confidence seemed to have dissipated entirely — understandably so, given the events of the past few years. It was a different man fighting in the cage that night, and the result was a knockout loss that may very well have spelled the end of an incredible career.
After the jump: Evans’ emotional post-fight interview with Heidi Androl, and the complete list of UFC on FOX 19 results.
If it sounds like I’m underselling the UFC 192 main event that pitted newly-crowned light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier against former title challenger Alexander Gustafsson, it’s only because the five round affair was a fight that simply needs to be seen to be appreciated. I could tack on any number of adjectives to the fight, I could call it a “grinder” or a “war” or a “blood-soaked battle of wills,” but the truth is, Cormier vs. Gustafsson was simply an example of championship-level MMA at its finest.
That DC vs. Lusty Gusty came at the tail end of a main card that saw all five of its fights go the distance is a testament to its greatness, so check out all the highlights from the action-packed main event (and the rest of the card as well), courtesy of UFC on FOX.
Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans will return from a 15-month hiatus when he faces Glover Teixeira in the main event of UFC Fight Night 61, February 22nd at Gigantinho Gymnasium in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Or, maybe Evans vs. Teixeira won’t headline that card. The matchup was first reported by Globo today, but the problem is, Teixeira hasn’t been medically cleared to train:
Teixeira’s manager, Jorge Guimaraes, has called the report premature. Guimaraes says that Teixeira, who was medically suspended after his UFC 179 loss to Phil Davis, has yet to be cleared to return to competition by Brazil’s athletic commission.
“Glover hasn’t even been cleared to fight on that date yet by the athletic commission due to his injuries,” Guimaraes told MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani.
Teixeira caught a 45-day medical suspension following UFC 179 on October 25th, which should be complete by now — so maybe he’s dealing with new injuries that we don’t know about. At any rate, Rashad Evans vs. Glover Teixeira seems like a somewhat necessary meeting between one fighter who hasn’t competed all of 2014 due to a knee injury, and another fighter who lost both his fights in 2014 after winning 20 straight.
Evans suffered a tear in his anterior cruciate ligament earlier this year and had to undergo surgery to repair the damage. The normal turn around time for this time of injury is usually 10 months to a year.
Evans was progressing well in his recovery and rehabilitation, but a hard week of training to make the final push into a decision about accepting the fight or not didn’t go his way.
According to UFC Tonight reporter Ariel Helwani who spoke to Evans this week, his knee is still not 100-percent and coming back as early as January wouldn’t be prudent to his long term success.
UFC 179: “Aldo vs. Mendes 2” proved to be exactly what we expected it to be, and that was a one-fight boxing card with a scintillating main event for the ages. The “greatest featherweight fight in history” was nothing short of amazing, with Jose Aldo defeating Chad Mendes for the second time after knocking out “Money” at UFC 142 almost three years ago. The battle was full of wild punches, eye pokes, a lot of heavy breathing, and at times, flying shit that didn’t land.
With a certain “joker” sitting cageside, let’s examine UFC 179, and why it was great and equally pathetic…
(“So Alex, how do you plan to face the unique strategic challenges that Rashad will pres…uh…dude, don’t freak, but there’s a big-ass ebola virus like 30 feet behind you.” / Photo via Getty)
As first reported by MMAMania, the UFC is working on a light heavyweight bout between Alexander Gustafsson and Rashad Evans, that would headline a FOX event in Stockholm, Sweden, on January 24th, 2015. Mania credited the info to “a source with knowledge of the situation,” and the bout has not been officially confirmed yet.
I have so, so many questions about this poster: Why is “The Beast” wearing a Tron outfit? Where does one obtain a degree from the House of Hardcore? Or is that like when someone says that they graduated the School of Hard Knocks, The Streets, or ITT Tech?
Is “Macho Man Richie Boombots” the most hackneyed, unforgivably terrible wrestling nickname of all time? On the contrary, is “Merican Mayde” the greatest? Do you think the member of “Merican Mayde” doing the bird hands is a member of the 19th Street Gangsters? Why isn’t “Senor Entertainment’s” name “Senor Entretenimiento,” you know, so that both words are actually in Spanish? Does Flash (or maybe he’s Cash) have the most uninspired costume of all time? Is he wearing that pink headband in support of breast cancer?
“I am deeply disappointed to be missing the action at UFC 170, but I am, as always, incredibly grateful for the support of my family, friends, management, the UFC, and most of all my fans during this minor setback,” Evans stated. “Thank you for your continued messages of support. I’ll be back stronger than ever!”
“Minor setback”? Props to Rashad for keeping such a positive attitude, because we’d be punching a hole through every wall in the house if this happened to us. Evans has had a history of poorly-timed injuries, from the previous knee injury that robbed him of a title shot against Mauricio Rua in early 2011, to the thumb injury that postponed his title fight with Jon Jones later that year.
For a 34-year-old athlete with over a decade of professional competition under his belt, a six-month timeout seems like a major setback — especially with Evans on the verge of title contention once again. Damn. Get well soon, dude.
Depending how you look at it, Chael Sonnen‘s offer to step in for Rashad Evans against Daniel Cormier at UFC 170 was either an act of extreme bravery or extreme cowardice — further proof that Sonnen is the most fearless man in the UFC or that he is one desperately trying to get out of Brazil in one piece A.S.A.P. Personally, I choose to believe the former, because if Chael Sonnen was brave enough to march head first into enemy territory to promote a reality show that no one watches, there’s no way a little on-set scrap would be enough to scare him away.
Sonnen’s valiance aside, Cormier would have demolished the Gangster From West Linn inside 3 minutes. You know this. I know this. Sonnen knows this. Chael P. was thoroughly overpowered by Evans and Jon Jones at light heavyweight, and against Cormier he’d be fighting an Olympian dropping down from heavyweight. They’d need a spatula to peel him off the canvas by the time all was said and done.
Realizing this, the UFC has denied Sonnen’s request, instead re-scheduling Evans vs. Cormier for UFC 172 (this is unconfirmed) and moving Sonnen vs. Wandy from UFC 173 in Las Vegas to a yet-to-be-named event in Brazil the following weekend.
As Happy Gilmore would say, “Talk about your all-time backfires.”