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Rashad Evans injury update: 'Heartbreaking' ACL tear expected to keep 'Suga' benched up to eight months

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Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans goes into detail about the devastating knee injury that forced him out of his UFC 170 fight against Daniel Cormier, one that will likely keep him out of action for the better part of 2014.

Kevin C. Cox

Just days before his light heavyweight bout against Daniel Cormier, set to go down at UFC 170 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Rashad Evans suffered a devastating knee injury.

A serious blow that forced "Suga" out of his his co-main event showdown against "DC" and eventually forced Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) officials to peg last-minute replacement Patrick Cummins as Cormier's new foe.

See how that mismatch unfolded here.

As for Evans, he now faces a long road to recovery, one that will keep the former light heavyweight champion out for the better part of 2014 after undergoing successful knee surgery. And during his appearance on The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting), Evans detailed exactly how that injury occurred.

His words:

"[The knee injury] was the last practice of the camp. Towards the end of practice, I was doing a wall drill, where guys are trying to hold me against the wall, and we were wrestled up and [training partner Cezar Mutante] slipped out of position and he ended up landing on my knee at a certain angle. I landed on it wrong and I messed my knee up pretty bad, and at that point that was before the conference call."

That explains why Evans was a bit cold while answering questions from the media during the pre-fight conference call (replay), as "Suga" obviously had more important things on his mind.

And sure enough, Evans received the news days later that he would not be able to fight due to a torn ACL, one that could keep him sidelined for up to eight months.

"It was hard for me, it was really hard. I really wanted to cry. I had put so much into the camp, and I really wanted to go out there and have a great performance. I did everything absolutely right on in camp. I thought everything was perfect. I felt the best I've ever felt competing...and just for something like that to happen, it was heartbreaking. Really heartbreaking."

While Evans had already suffered a serious injury prior to his title fight against Mauricio Rua in 2011, "Suga" says it was nothing compared to his most recent one.

Furthermore, Rashad says while the setback is very hard to deal with, he's happy his body has held up for as long as it has, with this being the first surgery of his athletic career, which spans 25 years.

Indeed, Evans has proven he can bounce back from a serious setback, but can he return to the fighter he was following an ACL tear?

Time will tell.