by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
Rashad Evans is officially ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ In an epic heavyweight finals battle against the bigger Brad Imes in ‘The Ultimate Fighter 2’ season finale, Evans walked away with the split decision, the car, and the six figure UFC contract.
Rashad weighed in for his bout with Imes at 224lbs. Will we see Evans competing in the future as a heavyweight, or will he make the move to the light-heavyweight division?
Evans is a former Michigan State University wrestler where he competed at 174lbs., so cutting weight isn’t a foreign concept to him. In fact, Rashad usually fights at 205, but put on a few pounds for the opportunity to appear on the reality show. Asked if it was up to him, now that the reality show experience is over, if he’d want to return to fighting at 205, Evans said, “Yes. Definitely.”
Rashad added, “It all depends on how I feel. There’s advantages to fighting heavyweight, but there’s a lot of disadvantages as you can tell. The guys are just so much bigger and taking the punishment from that even.”
It all comes down to what is best for Rashad’s career. He weighed the options while talking to MMAWeekly SoundOff Radio. As if he were thinking out loud, Evans commented, “I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m still thinking about exactly what route I want to take. I know I definitely want to build myself up to fight tougher competition. But the heavyweight division is so thin. You know? It’s not much build up before you have to fight the top dogs. But the 205, I think I can grow a little bit more as a fighter, and maybe have a successful career if I went down there.”
If Rashad does make the move to the light-heavyweight division, he will be among the many TUF participants from season one that have dropped a weight class since appearing on the Spike TV original reality series; Diego Sanchez, Kenny Florian, Mike Swick, Josh Koscheck, among others.
As of now he certainly seemed to be leaning toward getting lean and down to 205 to fight guys more his size. Which can’t be great news for the UFC whose sole purpose of this show was to find a heavyweight who could compete in the heavyweight division. Now it looks as though they’ve given a UFC contract to a Light Heavyweight.