Former UFC light heavyweight champ and The Ultimate Fighter season two winner Rashad Evans will be aiming to get his first MMA win since November 2013 when he faces replacement opponent Glover Teixeira at UFC on Fox 19 this Saturday.
Having fallen short against Ryan Bader in his MMA return last October there are many who no longer consider Rashad a top 205lb contender, but he sees a positive side to that fact.
“Yeah, they are sleeping on me. But that’s a good thing though,” Evans told MMAFighting.com. “It’s really good when you’re slept on and then you come out there and shock everybody, like, ‘Woah, where did that come from?’ So I like being slept on right now.”
He added: “People seem to forget. You have one bad performance and everybody’s like, ‘Ah, he’s washed up, he’s done. He should retire.’ But I’m far from done.”
Evans was originally set to face Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua on the April 16th card, but an impressive win here could see the former champ right back in the title hunt, regardless of the switch in opponent.
If he can move himself into a good position, Rashad’s next opponent would likely be a top-five name and there would be no better place to have that fight than at the UFC’s newly-announced November card, UFC 205, in Evans’ native New York.
Because he has spent the past five years as a founding member of the Blackzilians team in Boca Raton, Florida, even hardcore fans don’t consider Evans a New York representative. But, regardless, Evans would love to be included in the UFC’s NY debut.
“I’ve been fighting for a while and been all these different places so people maybe think, ‘He’s not really a New York-native,’ or whatever the case may be,” he said. “It’s just better to talk about those guys (Jon Jones, Chris Weidman, Frankie Edgar etc.), I guess.”
“It’d be so great to give back to the area,” he continued. “I love a lot of people back home and to have a chance to fight in front of ’em – they don’t have to travel – they’ve got no reason not to come.”