Rashad Evans explains loss to Nogueira, details new focus on Dan Henderson


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.

Set to face former Pride Champion Dan Henderson, Evans spoke up to MMA Mania about this pivotal light heavyweight bout:

“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?

  • I know it's easier to say than done, but why didn't he move his family to South Florida? I wouldn't want to have my wife and kids that far away for that long. I

    • Why would his EX-Wife agree to move to Florida if she likes Chicago? I mean I know I'd love South Florida compared to Chicago but she probably has ties there, maybe family or a job she likes. What ever it is why would she change her life for her EX-Husband? Now on another note, I see a VERY small chance Rashad would be cut after this fight even if he loses or is even finished. Hendo was just the number 1 contender and lost a close fight to Machida. Rashad is a former champion and 1 of the bigger draws. His last fight was a mess and unless he comes out AGAIN looking like he doesn't know what to do with himself in the cage I see NO way he's cut. If he loses the UFC goes either the route of giving him a "tune up fight" to get him back to his winning ways, or they put him in with an upcoming fighter they want to boost with a win over a former champ with a GREAT record still. Either way he will fight again barring an even worse performance than vs. Lil Nog or a self K.O.

      • @SilvaOfTheStreets: I thought he and his wife were still together at that time or at least working things out, although he did say that he had a failed marriage. I have no clue how long they have been divorced for.

        Dictator Dana wouldn't cut Rashad even he lost 3 or 4 fights in a row. He'd most likely ask him to retire.

      • "Why would his EX-Wife agree to move to Florida" you should email it for Rashad…

  • Much respect to Rashad for sharing that personal info. Fighters have regular issues just like everyone else in the world. I hope he can get his fam situation in a better position.

  • I've always been a big fan. However, I've also thought that he should be fighting @ 185. That aside, Rashad is whatever fighter he wants to be. If he's motivated he's one of the best fighters in the 205. If not motivated, well, we all saw his last fight and it was pretty un-impressive. It was if he couldn't get the car out of the garage.

    Maybe the problem is that he's made too much money or been at it too long and has become bored with it all. Who can say, other than Rashad? What can be said, at least by me, is that I hope he finds his old fire. He's an awesome fighter to watch when he's on and into it and he's certainly given us some great and memorable moments. I'd like to see more, before he calls it a day or is cut.

  • You guys talk about respect Rashad. For god sake these are mma gods you should love them. Its sad for him, mental side is the most important in competition. I mean he lost to Lil Nog, Lil nog lost to Phil Davis, and Phil Davis took worst beating in career from Rashad. In million years I wouldn't bet against Rashad in this match.

  • Fans are pretty harsh on Rashad, he has put on more good performances than bad..However the touching gloves and measuring throughout the whole fight was something you rarely see from a fighter. he lost the spark and desire on that night.

  • it will be interesting a few years down the road, to look back at what Rashad's defining moment was.

    It could have been winning TUF. Or taking the 205 title from Griffin.

    Or it could have been sitting on the shelf for a year and a half in the prime of his career, waiting for a fight that never happened.

    To me, it's the later, the moment a really good fighter took the safe route and lost a chance to be great.

  • im sure hes got a lot of personal stuff going on but a lot of fighters shut down and don't think about anything else but fighting when its time to train.. evans is losing it mentally and i must say once more.. he lost it when he departed from jackson.. he doesnt look as crisp and fast and he doesnt have good game plans like he used to..

  • Rashad needs to watch Rocky 3 about 500x

  • Rashad's record is still impressive. His lost to JJ demoralized him a lot, it showed in this fight. But I believe people are taking too much away from Rogerio Nogueira, he's a tough dude.