Rashad Evans walked into the Octagon for the first time as a champion at UFC 98 against Lyoto Machida. It turned out to be a night of new things for “Sugar” ‘Shad, as he also experienced his first taste of defeat in MMA, suffering one of the most brutal knockouts in the past few years. With a desire to fight at light heavyweight at least one more time before testing his skills at 185 pounds, Evans is now saying that he wants to erase that lingering aftertaste of the loss by mixing it up with Machida at some point soon.
In an appearance on UFC Tonight, the former champion explained, “The guy who I really want to fight is a guy I lost my first fight to. I would like to fight Lyoto Machida again. He looked good against Ryan Bader. I want to get that one back, bad.”
Machida’s schedule is currently open though he is expected to be facing Dan Henderson in the coming months.
Meanwhile, Evans has been on the shelf since his title fight with Jon Jones this past April after suffering a foot injury in the bout. While the 17–2–1 Ultimate Fighter 2 winner recovers and prepares for his next outing in the Octagon, Evans has been doing pre/post shows for FOX events but is very focused on his return to the cage.
“I was hoping in December, by the end of the year, but it looks like it’s not going to happen until maybe February or March. ‘Who am I going to fight?’ is the main question,” said Evans of his expected return to the ring.
As for a possible fight with Anderson Silva at middleweight, Evans confirmed he’d never been offered that opportunity, and, despite being open to the match-up, has his mind on the 205-pound division.
“I want to be at light heavyweight because there is unfinished business. I can’t go down unless something really beckons for my calling. I like to fight at 205 and I have done fairly well there,” Evans concluded.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC