The Blackzilians team has come under fire as of late, and perhaps none more than their most high-profile fighter Rashad Evans. Mainly due to his unimpressive, lackadaisical performance versus Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 156 in early February, Evans seeks a return to form at this summer’s UFC 161.
"This is the type of fight that keeps you up at night, because you want to do well... My back is against the wall. And this is when I perform at my best. In the fight business, you're only as good as your next fight. If you lose two or three then you're done.”
“My manager Glenn Robinson always says, ‘You're either one fight away from getting a title shot and becoming champion or you're two losses away from being cut from UFC.'"
So while many, including UFC President Dana White, had deemed Evans as becoming complacent after having made his money, ‘Suga’ knows the position he may be in. The Henderson bout will definitely be one of the tougher fights of his life.
Evans has an explanation for his surprisingly bad performance against Lil Nog, one that places the blame on a lack of mental focus:
"Having a failed marriage and not being able to see your kids on a daily basis, that's what hurts me every single day...I feel like I failed in my marriage and I failed my kids by not being in their lives on a daily basis.”
“It's because they live in Chicago and in order for me to train I live in South Florida for the most part. I have a place in Chicago, but I'm rarely ever there because I'm always trying to train. It bothers me and I can't say that it doesn't."
Perhaps Evans needs to regain his fire and mental sharpness regarding fighting. He had has never lost two in a row in the UFC up until this point. Regardless of what may be going on in his personal life, his job may be on the line June 15th.
Dana White has focused on the belief that the UFC has about one hundred too many fighters under contract, and Evans has a huge price tag. He’s also been one of the promotion’s biggest PPV draws in recent years. Have we seen the best of Rashad Evans pass him by?