Following consecutive defeats to Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira, Rashad Evans decided to make the drop to middleweight, and the former 205 champ is excited for the challenges ahead.
Since Evans was on the smaller size for a 205’er, there’s been talk about “Suga” moving to 185 for sometime. But, it wasn’t until after Evans’ KO loss to Teixeira this past April that he committed to the change. Now he’ll fight middleweight contender Tim Kennedy at UFC 205 on November 12th.
Recently Evans spoke to MMA Junkie.com about his decision, and while doing so, the 37 year-old said this:
“When you’re in there and you’re going, you don’t really feel it. But at the same time, I don’t have that, ‘Get over here, I’m going to slam this mother(expletive)’ strength,” said Evans, after noting that he was he never one of the “biggest” light-heavyweights in the UFC. “That’s what I was missing, and I feel it had a lot to do with just the weight and how strong I was and my size for that weight class. I had to really make a change and just having new competition, having to feel like the new kid on the block and have to earn my way through another division and pretty much just reinvent myself was my motivation to really want to do it.”
It will be interesting to see how Evans looks and performs at 185. One would think that if he can make the cut fairly easily, then his wrestling and strength will come into play more often. In addition, since Evans is only 5’11, he probably won’t be giving up as much reach and range at middleweight (although Kennedy is also listed at 5’11).
First things first, however, and that’s getting past Kennedy. The latter is an extremely rugged and complete fighter, whose only loss in his last five fights was a controversial one to Yoel Romero.