Rashad Evans is back in the mix and hoping to score a lucrative boxing match with social media star Logan Paul.
Evans, a former UFC light heavyweight champion, announced last month that he’s coming out of retirement to partake in a special combat event. While Paul would be Evans’ ideal matchup the MMA veteran also revealed interest in fighting former boxing legend Roy Jones Jr.
If Evans does in fact return to fighting it will be his first contest since 2018. In fact, Evans is 0-5 in his last five trips to the UFC’s Octagon. He hasn’t won a fight since a TKO stoppage over Chael Sonnen at UFC 167 all the way back in 2013.
“I know my fighting days are behind me for the large part, but I would just love to go out there and put the gloves on a few more times just to enjoy myself and really end the sport the way that I want to end the sport,” Evans told MMA Fighting.
Evans, who turns 42 this September, isn’t really interested in stepping back inside of the cage. He believes MMA is too brutal and that his current athletic makeup wouldn’t allow him to go all in. Instead, Evans is hoping to score a high-profile boxing match and prove to fans that he’s a legit striker.
“I started out with boxing – boxing was my first love. I started out with boxing when I was 13, 14 years old going to the boxing club in Niagara Falls, N.Y., trained by [Calvin] ‘Pop’ Porter. I was into boxing back then, but then I got out of it with wrestling and everything like that. Now I’m in a stage where MMA is a brutally hard sport. It takes a lot to be able to fight on that aspect. Can I do MMA? I’m sure I can do MMA, but I don’t know if I’ll be at the highest level based on everything that it encompasses, and I don’t know if I want to put my body through an MMA match.
“When it came to competing, I wanted it to be fun. I wanted it to be something different and challenging and there’s nothing like the sweet science of boxing.”
Evans joins a long list of fighters looking to take advantage of the growing interest for celebrity fights and entertaining boxing matches. It’s not something that Evans was initially fond of, but “Sugar” eventually came around to the idea after seeing how both Logan and Jake Paul handle themselves in training and in the ring.
“At first when it first started happening, I was like oh my gosh, what is this, it’s a mockery of the sport,” he said. “But then it took a while for me to get but once I got it, I got it. I understood as far as when it comes down to it, these guys, Jake Paul, Logan Paul, these guys have a huge following and they’ve been following since they were knee high on Disney. So they’ve loved these guys. Watching these guys compete and reach the level that they’re able to reach with boxing is amazing for them. It’s everything for them.
“I’m going to be honest, at first I thought these guys were going to go in there and not take the sport serious and just clown around and just do what they do, be a prankster about it. But they took it serious. They actually look like athletes. They look pretty good. Jake Paul looked pretty tough to be honest. Logan looked pretty decent in his last fight, too. They’re showing like they’ve got a lot of potential and I really like what they’re doing by fighting guys who are fighters but at the same time aren’t boxing guys and it gives them a chance to have somewhat a chance in the fight. It makes it interesting.”
“I think I am the fight for Logan Paul,” continued Evans. “If Logan Paul is serious about fighting then he’ll fight me. If he wants to play around he can fight somebody else. But if he really wants to fight, he wants to really grow himself, then he’ll fight me.
“He’s a young guy, he’s got a lot of physical tools and I want to see how I match up with that. I think it would be a fight that fans would want to see. They’ve seen him with Floyd Mayweather. They’ve seen he’s got a little bit of squabble, he can hang in there. He hung in there with the champ. The champ wasn’t able to get him out of there.
“Let’s see what he’s really about. I think his next fight has to be what he’s about. It can’t just be about surviving. He’s really got to go out there and try to put it on somebody. He doesn’t want to keep fighting all these guys, all these legit boxers who’s got all these skills. He might as well try his hand with me.”
What say you, Maniacs? Should Evans be next in line for Logan Paul? If so, would you pick him to win?