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UFC 161: Rashad Evans, not a sports psychologist, redisovered 'Suga's' love for fighting

Unlike UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre -- and lightweight contender Donald Cerrone -- Rashad Evans didn’t need to seek the help of a sports psychologist to help him get through his cage woes. He just needed to look deep inside himself to bring back the old “Suga.”

Esther Lin for MMA Fighting

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans is in a slump, to say the least.

Losing his last two bouts inside the Octagon, first against Jon Jones at UFC 145 and then to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 156, "Suga" knows dropping three straight can quite possibly push him closer to the brink of termination from the world's preeminent mixed martial arts (MMA) organization.

Especially if you're commanding high pay per fight, which Jon Fitch can attest to.

But, as Evans heads into this weekend's (June 15, 2013) fight against Dan Henderson at UFC 161 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, he's trying his hardest to put his previous performances in the rear-view mirror, because when he really looks deep inside himself, he knows just what kind of fighter he can truly be.

And while fighters like UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre and lightweight contender Donald Cerrone have solicited the help of sports psychologists to help them get through their cage woes, Rashad only needed some much-needed "me" time to get his head back into the game.

"The Telegraph" got the scoop straight from the horse's mouth:

"No, I wouldn't work with a psychologist. I've just been getting back to what I am good at, getting back to where I really fought from, where was my heart when I was fighting at my best ... I spent a lot of time reflecting on that, how I love to fight, where I love to fight in the Octagon. That's the only thing I needed to search for. I didn't talk to anybody in the world, because the only person who really knows is myself, and I know in my heart what drives and motivates me to fight. I needed to tap into that -- and for this fight with Dan Henderson that's exactly what I have done."

He continues:

"I'm just trying to stay relaxed not allowing myself to get overexcited or over anxious based on the performance I had last time. I'm just allowing myself to be the fighter I know I am, the fighter I can be and the one I'm capable of being. All I really need to do is go out there and relax more than anything, and it will come to me because I've trained for this moment."

And while he says he "doesn't care" about a title fight right now, you can bet deep down "Suga" wouldn't mind reliving the glory days he enjoyed during his reign as the 205-pound champion back in 2008.

If he hopes to get back there again, he'll need to be on his "A game" when he meets "Hendo" inside Canada because the longtime veteran and former PRIDE champion is looking to get himself back into the "mix" after dropping a unanimous decision to Lyoto Machida at UFC 157.

And getting back to the basics that brought him to the dance in the first place might be just what the doctor "Suga" ordered.

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