Rashad Evans has not competed since Nov. 2013 thanks to several knee-related injuries and surgeries. By the time "Suga" returns to action at UFC 192, which takes place on Oct. 3, 2015, in Houston, Texas, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 2 champion will be 36 years old and well past his prime.
Indeed, he's no spring chicken. And his next opponent, Ryan Bader, plans to take full advantage of his inactivity and advanced mixed martial arts (MMA) age, then took the fat-shaming approach on Twitter:
... @SugaRashadEvans whatever you are doing isn't working either, starting to look like @dc_mma pic.twitter.com/bTfvfYBxoa— Ryan Bader (@ryanbader) August 9, 2015
Bader elaborates to Submission Radio.
"... if you see pictures of Rashad recently he looks like [Daniel Cormier]. So he’s gotta worry about himself in camp. [He's] gotta worry about getting down to weight first.... I just believe we’re at different times in our careers. I want it, I’m this close to having my goal, getting a title shot, winning that belt. He’s been there, done that, and he’s at the tail end of his career, maybe looking for a couple more pay checks before he officially retires and does his analyst work with DC and all that. So I just feel like we’re in totally different times. I want it more, I’m more hungry. "Honestly, I’m surprised if he shows up. 'Cause your body, if you’re not training for two years your body isn’t used to that, the rigors of a training camp and what you have to put it through to be in peak physical condition. Yeah you can skate by and do just enough and show up to the fight pretty much unprepared but you made it. So we’ll see how that happens. Two ACL surgeries in a row, it’s no joke, especially at his age. So that, coupled with the whole deal of ring rust, and like I said, we're at two different points right now."
Evans has kept busy outside the cage as an analyst for FOX Sports, which often puts him side-by-side with the reigning Light Heavyweight champion. The two have not always seen eye-to-eye, but their rapport apparently does not sit well with "Darth," who feels he was overlooked on a 205-pound title shot.
Despite his best efforts inside the Octagon -- four consecutive victories, his most recent a split decision win over Phil Davis months ago -- and outside of it crashing post-fight press conferences.
"I love it when people overlook me, underestimate me.... I love to surprise him and everybody else, all the fans, the UFC and ... earn that shot and have there be no doubt in anybody’s mind that I’m next in line.... I go out there and look impressive, there's nobody else that deserves it [the next title shot]. So definitely that's something I would do. And we don't know who's winning that Cormier and Gustafsson fight -- that's why they're fighting, too. So everybody's been talking, asking me like it's a foregone conclusion that Cormier is going to run through Gustafsson and hopefully I can get my shot. It doesn't matter. Yeah I had my little beef with Cormier and I wanna fight him, but at the end of the day my goal is the belt. So I'm happy to fight whoever wins that fight after us at UFC 192.... I look to go out there and finish him and earn my shot. So I'm gonna call a finish. I don't know when and I don't know how, but I'm gonna make it happen."
Cormier is defending his world title against Alexander Gustafsson in UFC 192's pay-per-view (PPV) main event. Bader vs. Evans will serve as the co-featured fight of the night, which means the winner will likely be in the driver's seat for a future showdown with the champion sooner than later.
Gotta' win first, though.