Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion ‘Suga’ Rashad Evans fought Glover Teixeira this past weekend at UFC Tampa, and ended his night looking up at the roof, or rather, down at the canvas.
Starched by Glover Teixeira, who landed a vicious combination to put the American out cold at the 1:48 mark of the very first round, it raised a question: is it time for Rashad Evans to say goodbye?
Evans is 2-4 in his last six with his only wins coming over 45-year-old Dan Henderson and – now retired – Chael Sonnen. Evans looked below average during his split decision victory over Dan Henderson at UFC 161, but gave fans hope of a possible title run with the dominant first round stoppage over Sonnen.
Following that victory, Evans was set to come up against one of his toughest tests in then-undefeated Daniel Cormier in February of 2014, but was forced to withdraw from the bout 10-days prior with a leg injury. Evans was then expected to face Glover Teixeira exactly one year after his scheduled bout with Cormier, but the Brazilian powerhouse pulled out of the bout with a knee injury. Just days after the bout with Glover Teixeira fell apart, Evans announced that he would be on the shelf for another six to seven months following knee surgery. The former champion did eventually return at UFC 192 against Ryan Bader, but looked like a shadow of himself, losing by decision. Then came Teixeira…
…honestly, I think he hangs his gloves up while he can still cook his own dinner.
This brings us to the present, Evans has fought just twice since 2013 and has lost both times; not only did he lose against Ryan Bader, but he shocked fans with how badly he performed. Evans didn’t look bad in the bout against Teixeira while it lasted, but was knocked out for the first time since he lost the light-heavyweight title at UFC 98 to Lyoto Machida.
Evans was undoubtedly disappointed with the result and was clearly very emotional after the bout, more emotional than we’ve seen him following a loss. Does this mean he knows his career is coming to an end? That’s certainly for him to decide, but, honestly, I think he hangs his gloves up while he can still cook his own dinner.
A DIVISION FULL OF MONSTERS
Let’s face it, the 205lbs division is full of monsters. In fact, Evans has lost to three out of the top five fighters in the division. You could suggest a move to middleweight, as he isn’t the biggest light-heavyweight in the world, but I doubt he’ll get far with the likes of ‘Jacare‘ Souza, Chris Weidman, Luke Rockhold and Vitor Belfort at the top of that division.
Maybe a move back to heavyweight, where he won season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter? Absolutely not. Rashad has been rocked, hurt, and dropped by light-heavyweights with not nearly as much power as the heavyweights of today, and even if his chin did hold up, he’d probably not be much of a test for the top end of the division such as Cain Velasquez or Fabricio Werdum.
Whether he’s going to call it quits or not is up to him, but I believe it’s the right time to walk away from the sport. Rashad has done bits and pieces behind the FOX desk, why not try more of that? And if that doesn’t work out why not become a full-time coach at the Blackzilians, where he plays a huge part anyway.