Former UFC light heavyweight champion “Suga” Rashad Evans will finally return to action this Saturday (October 3, 2015) at UFC 192 after being sidelined for nearly two years with multiple injuries.
Evans is set to take on fellow top-five-ranked Ryan “Darth” Bader in what could potentially be a title eliminator bout, and the two have even seemed to develop a bit of a rivalry leading up to the bout to make things even more exciting.
Despite coming back from a long layoff, Evans actually feels as if Bader is the one with something to prove:
“I’m the fight he should get to prove that he deserves a title shot and that this is the new and improved Bader,” Evans told MMAjunkie. “He wants to prove that against a guy that’s been out for two years, a guy that’s over the hill, a guy who’s recovering from two knee surgeries.”
While this may be Bader’s chance to finally secure his long-awaited title shot, Evans plans to spoil the party, putting it plain and simple that he’s out to destroy “Darth”:
“I feel good; I feel in shape,” Evans said. “He said I was fat, and I’m almost on weight right now. I’m lean, I’m mean, and I’m about to destroy this boy.”
To add fuel to the fire, “Suga” added that when the pressures on, Bader tends to crack:
“He wants to look impressive to throw his name in the hat for a title shot, but we’ll see how that goes for him,” Evans said of his opponent. “I don’t think it’s going to go well for him because Bader’s one of those guys … when the pressure’s on, he doesn’t perform well. That’s just the truth of the matter. He doesn’t perform well when the pressure’s on.”
Bader has seemed to fall short when he would reach that top contender bout in the past, but he’s also riding one of the best streaks of his career which includes four-straight wins.
There’s also the questions regarding just how Evans will look after being out for so long. However, it doesn’t seem as if he’s thinking too much into it, noting that when he’s loose, and relaxed, fighting comes naturally to him:
“Fighting, for me, is something that comes easy and natural once I let it happen,” he said. “The more I try to do this or do that, the harder it becomes and the more mistakes I make. When I’m loose, relaxed and enjoying myself, the fight comes easy.”
Who will take one step closer to earning a shot at light heavyweight gold?