Poor Rashad Evans.
Once the UFC light heavyweight champion with a spotless record and respect amongst his colleagues, "Suga" has turned into one of the most criticized fighters in mixed martial arts.
The man leading the charge is none other than his boss, company President Dana White.
After Evans defeated Quinton "Rampage" Jackson back in May 2010, he was awarded a title shot against Mauricio Rua later that year. However, "Shogun" was forced to ride the pine with a knee injury.
Rashad made the decision, one he's still under the gun for, to sit on the sidelines and wait for his title shot instead of staying active in the meantime.
By the time the fight was just weeks away, the cruel hand of fate swooped in and Evans suffered a knee injury of his own, forcing him out of the bout. His teammate, Jon Jones, would step in to win the belt to set up a match between the two.
Once again, though, fate intervened and "Bones" elected to go under the knife to indefinitely postpone the fight.
Cue Dana White criticism (via The Fight Fix):
"I haven't talked to him in a while, and not because there's any problem with us. He and I are fine. We squashed all the stuff that happened before. But, I have to admit, and he knows it, and he's gonna have to admit pretty soon too, I was right. I was right and he was wrong. Here's what you don't do in the fight business, you don't sit out and say ‘I'm gonna wait for the title shot and I'll sit out for a year and wait ‘till this guy - who just blew his knee out - heals.' That's insane. You're a young guy, there's a small window of opportunity in the fight business. And, you have to stay busy, stay consistent, and keep fighting. He thought it was wrong. Shogun - he thinks he's gonna get that fight, he gets injured. Then he's next in line, and he's getting ready to fight again - his opponent gets injured. And now he's in line for another fight and the kid's been sittin' around for almost a year and a half, hasn't fought, has ring rust, and hasn't got paid in a year and a half."
Indeed, Evans will enter the Octagon on Aug. 7, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania having been out of action for over a year.
And White will be there, eagerly watching his employees performance.
What makes it all the more difficult for Rashad is his opponent, a game up-and-coming contender in Phil Davis, who, while lacking the same experience, is dangerous nonetheless.
Anyone expecting Evans to lay an egg? And if he does, will White be the first one to say "I told you so?"