by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Rashad Evans made the long walk from the dressing room to the Octagon at UFC 88 in Atlanta on Saturday night with an undefeated record and the dream of ascending to a light heavyweight title shot on his shoulders.
With his devastating knockout of former champion Chuck Liddell, his shoulders now bear only the weight of keeping his undefeated record intact, as the title shot is now within his grasp.
Talking about the possibility of a title shot after his stunning performance, Evans said, “I’m a patient man. I’m just enjoying the ride and whatever happens, however long it takes, it takes.”
He didn’t have to be patient for long, however, as UFC president Dana White informed the media at the UFC 88 post-fight press conference that Evans would indeed be tapped to challenge UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin in the first defense of his title.
Griffin won the belt in a five-round battle with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 86 in July.
Although White stopped short of confirming when the title bout would take place, it is believed to be part of a planned twin bill, sharing the spotlight on Dec. 27 with a heavyweight interim title bout between champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and challenger Frank Mir.
Nogueira and Mir are the two coaches on tap for Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter, which debuts on Sept. 17.