Friday, September 28, 2012
Rashad Evans plans for return
By Franklin McNeil ESPN.com
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans told ESPN.com on Friday that he plans to return to action in December.
Evans said he is in talks with UFC officials about his return date and a potential opponent, neither of which have yet been finalized. If a December date isn't reached, Evans expects to step back into the Octagon sometime in January.
When he returns, however, he will compete at light heavyweight. But he remains interested in dropping to middleweight.
"I'm using this cut to see how far I can get (the weight) down," said Evans, who has not fought since April 21, when he dropped a unanimous decision to current 205-pound titleholder Jon Jones. "I'd like to get on the scale somewhere around 201, like (Lyoto) Machida did. I'm using this fight to get my weight down and keep it under control.
"Afterward it might be easier for me to go down to 185."
Evans has previously expressed to ESPN.com his desire to fight at 185 pounds in hopes of eventually landing a title shot against middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
While the idea of fighting Silva is enticing, Evans continues to struggle with leaving the 205-pound ranks. A rematch with Jones continues to motivate him.
That desire was reignited on Sept. 22 at UFC 152 in Toronto, where Evans cornered Jones' opponent Vitor Belfort. Jones survived a first-round armbar before submitting Belfort in the fourth.
"It is hard for me to leave the (205-pound) weight class," Evans said. "I really want to fight Jon again.
"I have a lot of respect for him as a fighter. He's excellent and has learned so many things. And in his last fight he overcame adversity.
"But there are some things (in his style) I can exploit. I would love to compete against him again."
Evans and Jones were once teammates and friends. Their relationship dissolved shortly before the two agreed to fight for Jones' title.
The two no longer train together. Evans now calls the Blackzilians in Boca Raton, Fla., his mixed martial arts home. Jones remains at Team Jackson-Winkeljohn in Albuquerque, N.M.