Rashad Evans out to make “huge statement” at UFC on Fox 19, begin another title run

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Rashad Evans (photo credit Grant Gould © MMATorch)

“The UFC has given me a great opportunity to have this matchup and I’m glad Glover stepped up and took this fight. Now I have another opportunity to go out there and rewrite some of the things I’ve done wrong and some of the things that haunted me in the past. I have to make a huge statement in this fight and I want to make a huge statement in this fight. For me, it’s bigger than just this fight. For me, it’s about really just shutting down everybody who ever said I can’t do it… The biggest thing for me, I want to get the title shot. I not only want to get it, I want to win. That’s where it is for me. I feel like this – if you’re not chasing gold, you’re not really in a place where you should be competing. The UFC is not a place for the faint of heart. It’s not a place where you just want to take a second-place ribbon or a ribbon for competing. That’s not the place for that. There’s other organizations where you can do that, but not in the UFC. It’s the best of the best and I want to continue to try and be the best in the world. When I stop doing that, when I stop feeling that I can do that, that’s when I hang it up and retire.”

-Rashad Evans talks to FoxSports.com about his UFC on Fox 19 bout with Glover Teixeira and trying to return to title contention in the UFC’s light heavyweight division.

Penick’s Analysis: Evans’ return loss to Ryan Bader last fall wasn’t an insurmountable setback. The lengthy injury layoff took its toll on him, and I don’t think that fight is a sign of where he can still compete once he gets himself in a rhythm. Now, following up on that and performing is the key, and a win over Teixeira on Saturday night will be a significant step in the right direction. Evans can still be a competitive top end fighter, and potentially even title challenger, but he’s got to string together some consistent performances, staying healthy in the process.

[Rashad Evans art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]

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