UFC light heavyweight Rashad Evans was expected to come out triumphant in his February fight with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira as a former champion and Top 3 competitor. Of course, MMA is an unpredictable sport, and Evans ultimately went on to not only lose a decision to Nogueira but look bad enough in the bout to draw questions about his desire to keep competing.
Evans has heard the criticism and wants fans to know he’s confident he’ll be turning in a much better performance on June 15 when he faces Dan Henderson at UFC 161. According to an interview with MMAJunkie, Evans is clearly eager to prove his doubters wrong and prove he still belongs to be in the hunt for a title-shot.
“It’s one of those things that make you come back hungrier and stronger,” said Evans. “There’s a lot of things that needed to settle in my life. I feel like I’ve settled a lot of things, and I’ll compete the way I know I can compete, and that’s just worry-free. My next fight is going to be a really good fight.”
While Evans thinks he’ll be on point in the pairing with Henderson, that’s not to say he isn’t working his tail off in the gym to increase his odds of victory.
“This is really a game that you never really master. There’s always a little thing that you can do better. There’s always something to learn,” Evans explained of his approach to training. “You stop learning, and you’re finished.”
The 17-3-1 Evans is on the only losing streak of his career, falling to champion Jon Jones prior to the stumble against Nogueira. Similarly, Henderson is coming off a disappointing decision defeat to Lyoto Machida though he’d won four fights in a row prior to the misstep.
PHOTO CREDIT – MMAWEEKLY