UFC 161 Winner Rashad Evans: “I Would Love to Get a Shot at Jon Jones Again”
Mentions Glover Teixeira As Possible Future Opponent
By Kelsey Mowatt
Rashad Evans may not have gone out and blown Dan Henderson out of the cage last night at UFC 161, but the former light-heavyweight champ did end a two fight losing skid, by earning a split decision win over the legend. While some fans, and clearly one judge, may believe Evans lost the bout, the performance should squash the pre-fight narrative that followed him into UFC 161, questioning his desire to fight.
Not only was Evans floored by a stiff jab early on in the bout, but the 33 year-old vet came out aggressively in round two and three, and had Henderson on the defensive in a few exchanges. In addition, one can’t just gloss over the fact that Evans managed to work his way past one of the sport’s greatest fighters ever. A man who in nearly 40 fights and after 15 years of fighting, has been stopped just three times, and that was by submission. Going all three rounds with Henderson and his fearsome right hand, let alone defeating him, is no easy task.
So, considering all this, it’s not surprising to hear that Evans is sticking to what said going into the bout, and that he has no immediate plans to drop to middleweight. It’s an idea that’s been floated for some time now, especially after he lost by decision to champion Jon Jones last April, and then proceeded to drop another UD defeat to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Having scored a victory over one of the promotion’s top light-heavyweights, however, Evans appears focused on staying where he’s at.
“The thing is, 205’s my home, and if an opportunity comes at me at 185 and it’s a good opportunity, but for the most part, I feel good at 205,” Evans said at the post fight presser last night in Winnipeg. “It’s hard for me to the leave the 205 weight class.”
Although Jones is one victory away from setting a new record for title defenses as champion, there are several men who are ahead of Evans in the title shot hunt. Alexander Gustafsson will challenge Jones next in September, and vets like Glover Teixeira and Nogueira are currently ranked higher than Evans. In other words, although Evans will likely need to record at least a couple of impressive wins before he’s tapped for another title shot, the former TUF winner still has Jones in his sites.
“I would love to get a shot at Jon Jones again and I’d love to get back to where I was and where I can be, as far as, going out there and being spectacular, every single fight.”
And in terms of who he could fight next, Evans had this to say in his post-fight interview with FUEL TV.
“Whoever the UFC puts against me, I’m there” said Evans. “I heard that what’s his name? Glover? Glover said he’d like to have a fight with the winner, so you know, I’m not calling anybody out, but whoever the UFC says would be a good fight, I’m not turning anybody down.”
Evans-Teixeira certainly seems like a fight that would make a lot of sense right now, considering what the latter has done since his arrival in the UFC, and that he’s also knocking on the door for a title shot.