“Sugar” Rashad Evans was seen as an underdog on the second season of “Ultimate Fighter” reality show, and that was no more apparent than when the 5’11” Evans went up against the 6’7″ Brad Imes in the heavyweight finals matchup. However, it was Evans that outpunched Imes in scoring a decision victory. Now the new UFC light heavyweight champion, Evans is ready to change things up again to stay on top.
“Yeah I’m ready to take on all comers. I knew that once I got the belt that my mindset had to change as far as defending it,” Evans explained during the UFC 92 post-fight press conference.
It seems like a long time ago when then UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes was critical of Evans’ antics inside the Octagon, but the tables have turned since the show wrapped. Evans is now the best 205-pound fighter in the world and the hunted in a very deep division.
Evans knows that he can’t be content with what he has accomplished as he said, “right now I feel that there’s a lot that I want to do better. I just want to be able to come out there and put it on anybody in the first round or however long it may go.”
It’s a scary aspect for all UFC light heavyweights that Evans is entering the prime of his career with still a lot to learn. His next challenge may be the toughest of his career as both he and Quinton Jackson have recently scored KO victories over two of MMA’s best light heavyweights of all-time in Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva, respectively.
With Saturday night’s impressive win over former champion Forrest Griffin, Evans served notice to the rest of the UFC’s 205-pound division that he now has the overall skills to sit atop the division for quite some time.