USA TODAY Sports
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans used to be one of the elite fighters at 205 pounds, posting wins over seasoned veterans like Rampage Jackson as well as promising up-and-comers like Phil Davis. So what happened? UFC President Dana White explains.
That may or may not surprise some mixed martial arts (MMA) fans. After all, "Suga" has done well for himself since winning The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Season 2 as a Heavyweight, crushing Forrest Griffin for the 205-pound strap and racking up wins over the likes of Quinton Jackson, Chuck Liddell and Phil Davis.
Now he's licking his wounds after back-to-back unanimous decision losses.
The most recent of which came at the hands of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who outstruck Evans for the better part of three rounds at the UFC 156 pay-per-view (PPV) event last Saturday night (Feb. 2, 2013) in Las Vegas, Nevada, drawing an interesting critique from UFC President Dana White in the process.
"I like Rashad a lot. He's a good guy, a smart guy. But he's lost that hunger. He's lost that desire and drive, and he needs to get it back. There's no doubt about it. He needs to get hungry again. Back in the day, he used to get a little paranoid. He was always a little paranoid. But he would always do the right thing. He needs to get that fire back. He doesn't have that fire. He needs to get it. Rashad used to train like a beast. Rashad never used to get tired. The only time you saw Rashad get tired was when he first came into the UFC and fought Tito (Ortiz) in that first fight. Then after that he turned into an absolute beast. He's gotta get it back. If that word (retired) even comes out of your mouth in this business, it's a negative. It's bad. The fact that he even said the 'R' word shows you where his head is at and what he's thinking."
See the rest of White's comments here (skip to 09:30).
Evans may have lost some of that fire after dropping a unanimous decision to nemesis Jon Jones last year in Atlanta. "Suga" and "Bones" had a personal relationship turn sour under the tutelage of Greg Jackson, but the Blackzilian was unable to exact revenge at UFC 145 and failed to reclaim the division title in the process.
And now he's out of the "mix" for the foreseeable future.
How about it, Maniacs, does anyone think Evans is floundering in the prime of his career? Or does he just need to take some time off and find himself again? See what else happened at UFC 146 in our live results and recap thread by clicking here.