Former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion and current No. 1 contender “Suga” Rashad Evans visited Puerto Rico last week to promote UFC 145: JONES vs. EVANS and was greeted by hundreds of fans throughout his 24-hour tour of the Island.
On Friday, he held an open workout for media and fans where he was visited by Puerto Rican national hero and former three division world boxing champion Felix “Tito” Trinidad.
In less than three weeks, the most personal UFC 205lbs feud since perhaps Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz II in 2006 will come to a dramatic conclusion. In the main event of UFC 145, undefeated UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones collides with former friend turned bitter rival Evans.
UFC 145 goes down on April 21, live on Pay-Per-View from the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
Evans and Trinidad had the following to say about their meeting:
“Suga” Rashad Evans, former UFC light heavyweight champion and current No.1 contender, said:
“The visit to Puerto Rica was one of the craziest things I’ve done in my UFC career, and I’ve been here since 2005. The fans went crazy, it was so cool to be part of that. I couldn’t believe the response.
“I have a lot of regard for Tito as a fighter. He’s one of those fighters that I watched growing up and in many ways would try to emulate his style. He was very fast, had great power, but was so mart too. He brought a lot of pressure forward, always moving, always bouncing, always putting the heat on, and that’s a style I’ve tried to emulate.
“It’s exciting and kind of surreal to meet Tito. I remember watching him on TV when he was going through his thing and the spotlight was on him and all the behind the scenes coverage on him and now I get to meet him as it’s my turn.”
Felix “Tito” Trinidad, former boxing champion and national hero of Puerto Rico
“The truth is MMA and UFC is something that’s taking over the world and we love it in Puerto Rico. We are what they call “hot blooded” – we love fighting and love watching UFC events.
“I’ve never thought about training an MMA fighter, but honestly, I’d love to help if it’s a Puerto Rican fighter. If he’s from Puerto Rico, I will help him with his boxing. It doesn’t matter who it is. If he’s from Puerto Rico, I will help him.
“I salute all the fans of MMA and UFC. The sport is getting bigger and bigger in Puerto Rico. This is going to be a hit. This will be a hit for real.”
Head to page 2 for the iconic photo gallery and page 3 for the video highlight with interviews.