- TITO OR NOT, RASHAD WANTS TO FIGHT

October 2, 2007
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by Mitch Gobetz – MMAWeekly.com
Following his fight with Tito Ortiz in July, which ended in a draw, Rashad Evans has been waiting for the rematch that fans have been clamoring to see.

A lot of controversy ensued following their initial match-up. Ortiz had clearly won the first round, but in round two, he repeatedly grabbed the fence. After a takedown attempt by Evans, Ortiz grabbed the fence once again, causing the referee to take a point away. Evans took the fight to Ortiz in the third causing the judges to declare it a unanimous draw.

There have been many rumors regarding their anticipated rematch happening on Nov. 18 at the Ultimate Fighting Championship event at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

“I don’t even know,” Evans said of a rematch with Ortiz. “I heard November, maybe December. I don’t even know if he has his contract deal done yet. It’s on him, honestly.”

There had been some speculation that Evans was injured or that Ortiz might have a fight with another opponent.

“No, I don’t have any injuries. I heard he was going to have another fight, too. I don’t know what he plans on doing. I’m ready to fight.”

If Evans were to have another fight with Ortiz, he believes it would just be a continuation of their first fight.

“I’ll just pick up right where I left off,” said Evans. “Everybody was saying that Tito only lost because he had that point taken away in the second, but I think that if he hadn’t grabbed the cage, it would have been different.”

Evans was definitely holding his own with Ortiz, but he did feel that there was some room for improvement that he could utilize in a rematch, if it happens.

“I was kind of feeling alright during the second round, when I was trying to take him down. I felt pretty confident … but the one thing I didn’t do is plant my feet and trade.”

Rashad doesn’t seem to think that Ortiz is really into having this rematch with him. After all, the rematch was preliminarily scheduled for October, now it’s being pushed to November, and there is no guarantee that it will happen then either.

“I just feel like he’s taking so long to take this fight for a reason. He isn’t in a hurry to fight me,” said Evans.

If Evans doesn’t fight Ortiz, there are other top contenders that he could face. One name being thrown around is red-hot UFC newcomer Houston Alexander. A fight between Alexander and Evans would make sense due to the fact that Alexander destroyed Evans’ training partner Keith Jardine in May at UFC 71. Evans, however, doesn’t feel it’s the right time for that match-up.

“Houston’s a tough dude. But I see no point of swapping places with anybody. If they said you got to fight this guy, then I would. But I really don’t have anything to gain off of that.”

Regardless of whether Evans fights Ortiz or another contender, he would like to get another fight in this year.

“I definitely want to get another fight in this year. I want to fight another good opponent.”

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