This July, former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
During a recent episode of The MMA Hour, Evans looked back on his Hall of Fame career, and pinpointed a few of the fights and victories that meant the most to him.
“Stepping on the scene with that big knockout of Sean Salmon in Hollywood, Florida,” Evans said (transcript via MMA Fighting). “The big night with Chuck Liddell that changed my life. That one was a big one not just because of the results but because going into that fight, mentally speaking, I answered the call. I felt that was me stepping into what I like to call my mastery. That’s that level where I start stepping into the skill level that I know I’m good at. It was an important time for me, that was a great high.
“A big one was when I beat Phil Davis and the way that I was able to dominate him in the wrestling. That, for me, was a feather in my cap because he was a Division-I National Champion and before that fight he talked about how much of a better wrestler he was than me. That felt good to show him that ‘Nah, you were just lucky I wasn’t in your weight class.’”
After a career that saw him defeat stars like Liddell, Davis, Tito Ortiz, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Forrest Griffin and Dan Henderson, Rashad Evans eventually decided it was time to hang up the gloves. While he didn’t close the curtains on his fighting career quite the way he intended — he retired on a five-fight skid — he says he’s satisfied with the way things unfolded.
He says the video the UFC played when it was announced he’d be joining the Hall of Fame helped put everything in perspective.
“I couldn’t be happier [with my career],” Evans said. “Even though it didn’t end the way that I wanted to, it ended the way it needed to. That’s one that I had to reflect on and accept on. Just accept and move forward in life. But there’s a lot to be proud of with the career that I have. Watching that [career] montage, I forgot the emotion behind some of the things I’ve accomplished because I haven’t put myself in a position to have perspective. So being able to have perspective one Saturday was just an emotional thing.”
What was your favorite moment in the career of Rashad Evans?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/27/2019.