Archive for the ‘Rashad Evans’ Category
Former UFC light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans thinks he can beat Anderson Silva but doesn’t want to drop to 185 to do it. Evans thinks he is at the top of the 205 weight class and would have to prove himself as a middleweight to get a shot at Silva.
According to Evans;
“One reason I decided not to [move to middleweight] was because I was like, ‘Why would I drop to 185 just to be in the same spot I’m in at 205?’ It didn’t make any sense to me. If an opportunity came along that made more sense then it would be worth the sacrifice. If it was a title shot or against a really good, top contender something like that, it would be something that people wanted to see, it would be something I would think about. I’m already at the top of my division and for me to go down to 185 is kind of like now I’ve got to start over and prove myself at 185. Because I am good at 205, but whose to say I’d be the same fighter at 185 when I cut that weight? There’s a lot of variables that can come into play.
When my career’s all said and done I want to be able to look back and say I competed against some of the best guys ever in history. To me to be able to get a chance to compete against Anderson Silva would just be an amazing experience, and something I’d be able to take with me forever, to be able to say I went against the best guy and beat the best guy. I do believe I can beat Anderson Silva, and I believe that the skills that I have is something he’d have hard time dealing with, but to compete against the guy, first and foremost, would be an honor in and of itself.”
Some of the greatest names in the sport’s pantheon have held and fought for the UFC’s 205lbs title since its inception in 1997, including Hall of Famers Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell and iconic fighters including Vitor Belfort, Tito Ortiz and “Rampage” Jackson.
The light heavyweight title – which was called the middleweight title until May 2001 – has been contested in some of the biggest and most exciting bouts in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization:
· Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock went to war for the 205lbs title in their epic November 2002 battle
· The first ever clash of TUF coaches was for the light heavyweight belt, when Chuck Liddell KO’d Randy Couture to ignite his reign as champion
· Liddell’s second fight with Ortiz at UFC 66 was one of the most anticipated – and successful – UFC title fights of all time
· The 205lbs strap was also the first UFC belt to be unified with a PRIDE FC organization title, when “Rampage” Jackson defeated Dan Henderson over five rounds at UFC 75 in London, England, in September 2007.
· The title was on the line in the 2008 Fight of the Year when Forrest Griffin ripped the belt from “Rampage” Jackson.
· Current king Jon Jones became the youngest ever UFC world champion, aged 23, when he hammered “Shogun” Rua in March 2011.
Now, this Saturday night in Atlanta, the 205lbs division championship is again on the line in perhaps the most toxic grudge match in years, as Jones defends against former champion and former close friend “Suga” Rashad Evans.
“The light heavyweight division has always been a special weight class in the UFC,” said UFC President Dana White, “and the Jon Jones vs Rashad Evans match could be the biggest fight at 205lbs in years. The last time we had a 205lbs title fight with this much emotion and excitement around it was the second Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz fight in December of 2006.
“Jon Jones is a freak of nature in mixed martial arts. Here’s a guy who got into the UFC after only a couple of years of training, came right out and started beating top guys using spinning elbows and all these other crazy moves, and he then wins the UFC title at only 23 years old. Jones is already on his way to being one of the best fighters to ever hold the UFC light heavyweight belt, which is phenomenal if you look at the killers who’ve held this belt.
“But anyone who counts Rashad Evans out of this fight is out of their mind. Look at what he has done: he won the Ultimate Fighter as a heavyweight, then not only beat – but stopped – champions like Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin, and also beat top contenders like Michael Bisping, “Rampage” Jackson, and Phil Davis.
“He’s been in the UFC since 2005. It is 2012 now, and in that time he’s lost once. Rashad Evans is the most underrated fighter in the entire sport. No-one can deny he is one of the best fighters, pound-for-pound in the world.
“I’m pumped for Jones v Evans. This is going to be historic fight for the division on April 21.”
White isn’t the only one who is excited for the UFC 145 main event. Here, every former holder of the UFC 205lbs title weigh-in on the significance of the UFC 145 main event:
“Shogun” Rua, champion from May 8, 2010 to Mar 19, 2011
“They are two very smart, strategic athletes. Both of them fight thinking of their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and think about how to fight the best possible fight to win. But I think Jon Jones has an advantage, since he is very hard to reach. He is not only long (limbed) but also fast and he can react very quickly, I know this. So, I think it’s going to be Jones’ match. However, let’s not forget Rashad is also very strategic. I believe Rashad will have a good gameplan and I am very interested to see what he will try to do in this fight.”
Lyoto Machida, champion from May 23, 2009 to May 8, 2010
“Jones vs Evans is a big fight for the fans and a big fight for the division. It is a very interesting fight; Jones is very unorthodox and is strong in all aspects of the game, but Rashad is a great wrestler and has the hand speed to catch Jones.”
Forrest Griffin, champion from Jul 5, 2008 to May 23, 2009
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