Former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans’ decision to wait for a title-shot may end up paying off after all despite having spent almost a year on the sidelines due to injuries suffered on his part as well as that of the UFC’s current champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. According to the UFC‘s head honcho, Dana White, Evans will indeed get his chance at reclaiming the division’s gold if Rua (or challenger Jon Jones) escape the fight without enduring any significant damage potentially putting them out of action for an extended period of time.
“We’ve got to see who comes out of this fight, whether they come out unscathed. If the guys are ready to roll again with no injuries Rashad is definitely next in line,” White explained on a recent episode of ESPN’s MMALive.
The news appears to back Evans’ mutual openness to a bout with Jones, his training partner, as far as the possibility of an inner-squad showdown for the belt at some point later this year if “Bones” defeats Rua tomorrow night at UFC 128.
The 15-1-1 Evans had previously been set to face Rua with Jones stepping in as a late replacement after “Sugar” ‘Shad injured his knee while training for the bout. Word had also surfaced of a possible rematch with rival Quinton “Rampage” Jackson with the spot ultimately going to Matt Hamill meaning Evans’ schedule is still open for the next few months.
The Ultimate Fighter Season 2 winner hasn’t fought since outpointing Jackson last May with a similar result in a prior contest against Thiago Silva at UFC 108. Evans has emerged victorious in five of his last six fights including success against Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell with the lone exception being Lyoto Machida’s title-procuring performance in mid-2009.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC