Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans is sticking around.
Evans is currently competing in the middleweight division of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). He made his professional MMA (mixed-martial-arts) debut in 2003. Evans was the Heavyweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter 2, which was a reality show that took place in late 2005.
His losing streak started a few years ago. Evans faced Ryan Bader on October 3, 2015, at UFC 192 and lost the fight via unanimous decision. He was then thrown in a bout against Maurício Rua was rescheduled and was expected to take place on April 16, 2016, at UFC on Fox 19. However, Rua was pulled from the fight on March 9 in favor of a matchup with Corey Anderson a couple of weeks later at UFC 198. This led to Evans facing former title challenger Glover Teixeira, and Evans lost the fight via knockout in the first round.
The UFC star was expected to face Tim Kennedy in a middleweight bout on November 12, 2016, at UFC 205 but Evans was pulled from the fight after an undisclosed irregularity was found during his pre-fight medical exam. This led to the fight being rescheduled and was expected to take place a month later at UFC 206. However, once again, the fight was pulled. Evans was unable to obtain medical clearance to compete on the card.
Evans faced Dan Kelly on March 4, 2017, at UFC 209 but he lost the back-and-forth fight via split decision. Evans faced Sam Alvey on August 5, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 114 but he lost the fight by split decision.
Despite losing his last four fights in a row, the former UFC light heavyweight champion has decided against retirement. Evans told Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com recently. Evans hasn’t won since his November 2013 victory over Chael Sonnen.
“I can’t retire like this,” he said. “I would never know peace again in my life. Endless nights I would be left looking at the ceiling unable to accept reality. I have to talk that over, but I feel like at 205 I had more energy,” he said.
Evans, who beat Forrest Griffin to become the light heavyweight champion in 2008, doesn’t have a fight booked, but his current plan is to return to action in early 2018.
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