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Dana White still views Rashad Evans as top contender in 205-pound division

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

9 COMMENTS
  • qat says:

    No surprise there, everyone else possibly up there he already fought recently (Rampage, Machida, Griffin..), none of these fights would really make sense (at least if you see this objectively and not as a hater of Rashad)
    and everyone else comes off a loss.
    Henderson and Mousasi would be possibilities after the developments of the last days, but we know it wont happen that fast.
    But Rashad really waited long, and now he even has to wait longer, thats not good for him, nor his camp, the fans, the UFC..
    Well if you reach really far i could imagine someone who mentioned he is ready to fight soon: Randy Couture. :] I would watch it.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Rashad vs Shogun/ Jones would be a very logical next fight. Glad to see the UFC didnt screw Rashad out of his well earned title shot.

  • I for one dont think Rashad earned his title shot to begin with….does he make the most sense…sure I guess, but two BORING decision wins…come on man Fitch won 5 straight and still didnt get his nod, why should rashad do it in 2?

  • bigbadjohn says:

    This should be pretty obvious. Rashad has one loss and he’s a TUF winner. He’s grown with the sport, a great wrestler who developed above average striking and even once beat Chuck (before he was mush-head, with a punch that would have knocked out an ox). He’s recently caught hell from fans for using “less than exciting gameplans” but come on, look who he’s been facing. Thiago Silva, why would you stand in front of that guy? as a fighter with wrestling foundation? And if anyone remembers Suga stood in front of Machida and tried to trade, or how about his TUF finale? The guy has heart and will lay it on the line. Rashad’s won the big fight before – he took the strap from Forrest in a mainly-standup battle too. Anyways, this isn’t a history lesson, since if theres one place I can assume everyone knows there shit its 5oz. I can assume Rashad wouldn’t opt to stand with Shogun either so maybe if we get a new champ tomorrow night the Rashad match-up will be of more stand-up nature: I bet Evans would be much more willing to stand with young Jonny

  • stone says:

    I agree with SuperDave… 2 lame decision wins after that devistating KO loss just doesn’t seem like enough for a title fight… Rashad vs Randy seems order

  • hindsightufuk says:

    i think the point about those last two fights is that no matter how boring you deem them to be (and ignoring the fact he almost got KO’d in the 3rd round of each), he still stopped two other guys getting title shots. if thiago had won he possibly would have been up for a shot, if not one fight away. if rampage had won he would have got the title shot for sure(be it even less deservingly)
    personally i want to see rashad fight matt hamill, not cos it makes sense, just wanna see it.
    dont really wanna see rashad fight randy cos i wouldnt fancy randys chances at all, i do like randys chances against lyoto though

  • MCM says:

    Name a top 10 LHW that is not either coming off a loss or wasn’t beaten by Rashad recently? Other than Jones and Rua, there isn’t one.
    If Rampage beats Hamil that will make it two in a row for him, but Hamil isn’t a top 10 guy. If Machida beats Randy that will make it his first win in three fights. Bader just lost his last fight, and T. Silva and Forrest already own losses to Rashad.
    Maybe if Randy wins, there would be a #1 contenders match with Rashad, but otherwise, Evans makes the most sense.

  • Rece Rock says:

    DW just keeps stirring the pot so we keep wanting another helping….

  • Dufresne says:

    hindsightufuk and MCM +1

    I hate Rashad personally, but considering the points both of you made I can’t argue against him getting the next shot.

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