Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans can’t seem to catch a break.
Evans was pulled from New York’s UFC 205 event earlier this month after not being able to be licensed for a fight under the New York Commission’s rules.
“I’m disappointed,” Evans said to MMA Fighting after not being allowed to compete at the historic event in New York earlier this month. “I’m healthy. I don’t want anyone worrying about me. I’m fine, physically speaking. Never felt better. It’s just the commission and their rules. I guess they have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to this.”
The New York State Athletic Commission issued the following statement to MMA Fighting following the news of Evans being pulled from UFC 205:
“Mr. Evans’ license application was denied for medical reasons based upon Commission policies that are designed to protect the health and safety of professional combatants in New York State. Due to confidentiality and privacy laws, the Commission will not comment further.”
Evans and his opponent, Tim Kennedy, were rescheduled to fight at the next UFC pay-per-view event. Both fighters were rescheduled to meet in the Octagon at UFC 206, which takes place in Toronto, Canada on December 10.
However, Kennedy told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour that Evans was not able to get a license to fight from the Office of the Athletics Commission in Ontario.
“They’re not (letting Rashad fight). I’m not fighting Rashad,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy stated that he found out the news yesterday that Evans was unable to fight.
Helwani asked Kennedy why Evans was unable to get a license and gave his assumption.
“I think it’s brain damage,” Kennedy said. “Welcome to the sport where we punch each other in the head. When you have to back-to-back athletic commissions not issuing you a license, I don’t know what that means for Rashad. It’s a slippery slope moving forward for him.”
Kennedy did say that Evan’s medical file is private information so it is still unclear on what the “irregular findings” were in his MRI for New York.
Evans’ manager Ali Abdel-Aziz later confirmed with Helwani that the Evans and Kennedy match was called off and claimed that Evans is fine.
“He’s fine, guys,” Abdel-Aziz said. “Rashad is fine. There’s nothing wrong with him.”
“Suga” Rashad Evans has been looking forward to dropping down to middleweight for his UFC debut at 185 while Tim Kennedy is looking to get back to competition since his last fight, which took place over two years ago in September of 2014.