After beating Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 114, Rashad Evans opted not to risk his top contender status and wait for injured champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to heal from his third knee operation. Many, including Dana White, thought Evans was out of his mind for embarking on such an extended layoff.
It appears the UFC president has been proven correct, as a knee ligament injury will put the Greg Jackson trained fighter on the shelf for the next 6-8 weeks.
White likened Evans’ unfortunate situation to that of middleweight Yushin Okami, but also claimed the former light heavyweight champion made the wrong decision by riding the pine.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen with [Evans] now,” White said at the UFC 126 post-fight press conference. “I feel bad about it, too. Look at the 185-pound division. Okami got hurt and couldn’t get that fight [against champ Anderson Sivla at UFC 90] and now he’s been waiting forever.
“I don’t know if it was Rashad [that made the decision] or other people telling him to wait, but in my opinion it was bad advice.”
Instead of fighting for the belt at UFC 128 on March 19th, “Sugar” will have to sit and watch teammate Jon Jones try to pry the 205-pound title from Rua’s waist.
Jones dominated Ryan Bader at UFC 126 on Saturday night to notch his 12th professional victory in 13 tries. Little did he know, the win would earn him the opportunity of a lifetime just seconds later.