Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion, Rashad Evans (19-5-1), has been pretty quiet recently in the Octagon ... for good reason. Indeed, Evans hasn’t won a fight in more than three years — a first round technical knockout victory over Chael Sonnen back at UFC 167 in Nov. 2013. He has dropped two straight over the three-year period to the likes of Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira. And the unfortunate streak continued when he was pulled out of his bout against Tim Kennedy at UFC 205 and UFC 206 for being unable to obtain medical clearance.
While Evans looks to get back to his old form in UFC, he had some time to speak about Ronda Rousey’s (12-2) recent 48-second performance against Amanda Nunes (14-4) at UFC 207 late last year.
Rousey, of course, got blasted as “The Lioness” retained her women’s Bantamweight title in “easy” fashion. While Rousey has received an incredible amount of criticism from a wide array of individuals — regarding her inability to box, take a strike, and receiving poor coaching, among other things — Evans was finally able to give his take on “Rowdy’s” situation.
“You know where you step into that spotlight to have a great performance, you also got to understand you may not have a great performance and you got to understand that you may be criticized for what you didn’t do or what you could’ve done or whatever,” said Evans in an interview with MMA Alpha. “Another part to that, is I think that she is not trying to be hung by the same words that she was last time. If you recall Ronda going into the fight with Holly Holm, she was uber-confident, she was almost disrespectful, you know? ‘No one can be champion as well as me’ and just her arrogance ... it was kind of disgusting.”
The former 205-pound champion did not hold back on his criticism of Rousey, but unlike a lot of media personnels critiques of the former No. 1 women’s bantamweight — Skip Bayless, Shannon Sharpe, and Michael Rapaport to name a few dunderheads — Evans’ criticism was very honest and educated.
“I think those were the words that kind of ate at her when she lost because everyone brought it up,” continued. “And now I think she’s to the point where she’s like, ‘You know what, I’m not going to say anything, I’m not going to give you a soundbyte to hang me with afterward if I don’t win this fight’.”
Evans then spoke about Rousey’s loyalty to her coach, Edmond Tarverdyan, who clearly hasn’t aided Rousey in her skills since losing to Holm back in Nov. 2015.
“I don’t knock her loyalty, but at the same time, as a fighter, you have to almost understand the fact that it’s great to be loyal to your coaches, but understand this one fact: The fact is this is your opportunity, this is your time to shine, this is your spotlight,” he said. “At the end of the day, the coach can always have other fighters and always have another rise to fame. But, at the end of the day, if you don’t do what you’re supposed to and you say, ‘Well it was because of my coaches,’ no one cares about that. No one cares about if your coach made a mistake because it’s up to you, as the athlete, to say, ‘You’re good for me’ or ‘You’re not good for me’.”
“Suga” finally gave his take on whether or not Rousey should bounce around other training camps. For “Rowdy” however, it might be a bit of a problem to do that.
“And I think, personally, maybe she should’ve bounced around. But, here’s the problem with bouncing around if you’re Ronda Rousey: You have a huge target on your back no matter where you go to and you almost don’t want to try out new training gyms because you don’t want to have to feel like the new kid on the block, and being the new kid on the block when you’re Ronda Rousey, it’s a huge target on your back.”
One thing is for sure, if Rousey should ever compete in mixed martial arts (MMA) again, there needs to be a drastic amount of change before that happens.