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Rashad Evans joins UFC Hall of Fame class of 2019

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MMA: UFC 192-Bader vs Evans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, who also captured the glass trophy as a heavyweight contestant on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 2, will be inducted into the promotion’s Hall of Fame during International Fight Week 2019, held this July in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Evans (19-8-1), who turns 40 in September, tried to revitalize his mixed martial arts (MMA) career at middleweight following a string of tough losses at 205 pounds; however, his advancing age and wear-and-tear left him with a five-fight losing streak, one that prompted “Suga” to call it quits.

“Rashad and I have been close since season two of The Ultimate Fighter and we’ve had an amazing relationship,” UFC President Dana White said. “It has been fun to see him succeed and grow as a fighter, become a world champion and then a respected coach for up and coming fighters, and then to see him retire last year. I love to see him still involved with UFC. I couldn’t be prouder of Rashad than I am right now with him being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.”

Evans joins the promotion’s ever-growing “Modern Wing” (post-2000 fighters) alongside the likes of Forrest Griffin (2013), who “Suga” stopped at UFC 92 to win the light heavyweight strap, as well as BJ Penn (2015), Urijah Faber (2017), Ronda Rousey (2018) and Michael Bisping (2019).

“Deciding to retire was the toughest decision of my life because everything in me told me I need to keep fighting,” Evans said last June. “I’ve fought my whole life in some form since I could remember so saying goodbye to my long time companion is hard. Riding the emotional rollercoaster that a big fight brings is the most amazing feeling in the world and going through those experiences have made me grow into a strong man that I’m thankful for. I want to thank all my fans out there who have supported me during this journey.”

Here are some Evans’ career highlights, which includes well-publicized feuds with Jon Jones and Quinton Jackson, among others:

—1 of 8 TUF winners to become an undisputed UFC champion
—20 fights – tied for 1st in modern light heavyweight history
—50 takedowns – 2nd in modern light heavyweight history
—13 wins – tied for 3rd in modern light heavyweight history
—6 KO / TKO – tied for 3rd in modern light heavyweight history

The UFC Hall of Fame will stream live on UFC Fight Pass on July 5.