Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans was once the king of the 205-pound division.
At UFC 92, in December 2008, Evans finished Forrest Griffin in the third round to capture the light heavyweight crown. His title reign was short lived. Evans was put to sleep by Lyoto Machida in his first title defense in May of 2009.
After the loss to Machida, Evans put together a four-fight winning streak and earned a shot at the belt. He came up short against Jon Jones at UFC 145. After losing four of his next six fights, Evans dropped down to the 185-pound division in his last outing. He was defated by Dan Kelly in his middleweight debut.
Evans takes on Sam Alvey on the UFC Fight Night 114 main card in Mexico City on Saturday and will be looking to stop a three-fight losing streak. Heading into the bout, Evans has a new perspective.
“The hardest thing is just getting past the ego, get past the ego and just getting past the part where I know I haven’t fought at my level. And I know that I’m not where I used to be. I know what people say about me, — getting past that ego part. I guess surrendering to my ego and who I thought I was based on other people’s opinions,” Evans said during an appearance on the UFC Unfiltered podcast.
“No matter what people say about me, I was who I was before they knew who I was. I’ve always had that believe that I was a champion. I’ve always had that belief that I can win and beat these top opponents before I did. Now that I have to build myself back up, I have to abandon that ego that I got so accustomed to.”
At 37 years old, Evans reflected on what he’s accomplished and has no intentions of hanging his gloves up anytime soon.
“At the end of the day, I came to this game with nothing,” he said. “A lot of people say I should stop and I should quit, but don’t feel the quit inside me. Maybe I wake up some day and not be able to make the sacrifices that’s necessary in order to compete. Right now, in this place, I feel like I cam compete.”
“I’m going to go out there and give it all I’ve got. That’s all I can do,” added the former champion.