After a devastating knockout loss against Glover Teixeira back in April, former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans was at a crossroads.
And while the defeat marks his second in a row, Evans is looking to a new weight class for not just redemption, but motivation as well.
“When I was in the ring (against Teixeira), once I got going, I felt ready, I felt like I was on point, but when I got knocked out, I felt like I was so far away from where I’ve ever been,” Evans told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s MMA Hour. “I was struggling way too much, even to compete.”
“Coming off of two losses, I need to bring some life back into wanting to compete again.”
Glover Teixeira, who had called out Evans going into their headlining main event on FOX, never let the former champ in the fight. After a tense first minute, the Brazilian clocked Evans along the cage, ending the fight at just 1:48 into the first round.
“If I get someone against the cage, they gotta work to get me off them,” Evans said. “I usually unload my shots against the cage. But with Glover it was like where am I going? Where am I at? These are all things that should never happen to me.”
Evans began his UFC career as a heavyweight, winning the second season of The Ultimate Fighter at about 225 pounds before dropping to 205 pounds and eventually capturing the light heavyweight belt back in 2008 from Forrest Griffin.
Now on the heels of two defeats, one of which was a brutal knockout loss, Evans sees greener pastures at middleweight, even if it will take work to get there.
“It is a tough cut, but I feel like I need to start over again, I need to start fresh. And truthfully, I’ve always thought about (fighting at) 185 pounds.”
“Right now I am at 215 lbs. I’ll start my day about 217 lbs, and by the time I’m finished with work out I can get to be about 210-209 lbs. By end of the day, I’m about 215 lbs, after hydration and everything.”
And with the proverbial clock ticking on Evans’ career, there’s no time better than now according to the former champ.
“I’m 36, going on 37, I gotta find something to keep me motivated in the fight game,” Evans said. “I’ve allowed myself to make my life more complicated than it has to be.”