Rashad Evans had his dreams shattered last week when a knee injury forced him to withdraw from his upcoming title fight against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128 in March.
Evans will, however, support his teammate and close friend Jon Jones as he prepares to step in and face Rua.
Evans is looking at an early summer return to action following the knee injury.
According to Evans’ manager, Malki Kawa of Authentic Sports Management, the former light heavyweight champion will be ready to step back into action as early as May following the injury suffered in training.
“It’s not bad at all. It’s a real deep sprain that’s all. That’s all it is,” Kawa told MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday. “He’ll actually be ready to fight in May, he’ll go back and fight anybody in May.”
Evans has said time and time again that he has no desire to ever face his friend Jon Jones should he win the title in March, and he would be willing to go up or down in weight class if necessary.
Kawa doesn’t know if it will reach that extreme, and believes Evans’ next fight might very well be at light heavyweight.
“I think Rashad’s definitely serious about winning championships. So I think whatever turns out is where his decision will be made. I don’t know necessarily that he’ll drop down or go up in weight, he may still stay at 205,” Kawa commented. “It’s a decision he’s going to have to make the next couple weeks.
“I think there’s been some talk about a real good fight for him right now, and it very well may be at 205.”
With the UFC 130 fight card slated for May 28 already filled up, it’s unclear exactly where Evans will be slotted in for his return. Kawa will ultimately stand by whatever decision Evans makes as far as his weight class, but he still believes he belongs at 205 pounds.
“It’s going to be between May and July when he comes back,” Kawa stated. “I’d like to see him at light heavyweight and continue competing at light heavyweight, but again that’s a decision Rashad’s going to make and as he makes it, we’ll keep everybody updated.”
Evans will rest the knee for a couple more weeks before heading back into training while he awaits word about his next fight.