Former UFC light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans has dealt with plenty of adversity throughout his career. Often criticized for his antics inside and outside of the cage, Evans understands exactly with friend and occasional training partner Muhammed Lawal is going through at the moment after being released by Strikeforce on top of a nine-month suspension for steroid use.

“I think that everything happens for a reason. I’ve been in a situation where I had to ride out a dark cloud a little bit in my career. I think Mo’s just going to have to ride the dark cloud in his career. I went about a 14-month period of not having a fight and just riding out some of the waves in my life, and that happens,” explained Evans in an interview with MMAFighting.

“Fighting is not just about fighting — it’s about life,” the 32-year old continued. “Sometimes you have those ups and downs in life, just like in your career. But as long as you keep your mind right and on what you really want, and you stay hungry, then you’ll prevail and make it through the storm.”

Evans will certainly be pulling for Lawal will come out on top in the end, growing from the experience rather than letting it diminish his drive.

“I feel bad for him. He’s a champion at heart, and I’m sure he’ll find a way to make it back to (Strikeforce) or find a way to make it in another organization as a top guy,” concluded Evans on the topic.

Lawal will be out until September based on his suspension though it is unknown when he will actually fight again after losing 30 pounds due to a serious staph infection that could’ve been fatal.