Will Evans Fight at UFC 133?

Rashad Evans is a smart guy. He doesn’t take every fight offered to him. He hasn’t fought in over a year, not since May, 201o. He’s had offers, but has been waiting for a title shot. When that went away, he agreed to fight Phil Davis. This caused Evans to change the focus to his camp. Now that Davis is rumored to be out, what will Evans do?

You would think with Phil Davis being so active, and this kind of thing being so prevalent, the UFC has to have someone in mind to step in…

Looking at the top Light Heavyweights, there are only a few that could seriously be considered. You would need a fighter in shape, perhaps who fought recently but didn’t take a lot of damage.

Most likely:

Lyoto Machida
Lyoto just knocked Randy Couture out and took very little damage. By all accounts, he was ready to take on Chael Sonnen in a parking lot with 24 hours notice, so he’d probably be the first choice to fight Evans.

Tito Ortiz
Not that Tito is seriously considered among the top of the UFC Light Heavyweights, but after his quick beat-down of Ryan Bader, he’d be a “name” fighter in shape, who’d fought recently and taken little damage, and who’s fought Evans before. Since he just fought, there might be some hurdles to getting him medically cleared.

UPDATE: Ortiz rumored to have turned down an Evans rematch in Philadelphia.
UPDATE TO THE UPDATE:
Tito called Dana back: Ortiz to fight Evans in a rematch of UFC 73 in Philadelphia.

Dark Horse: Brandon Vera
Vera hasn’t fought since losing (overturned to a No Contest) to a very, ahem, pumped up Thiago Silva in January. He has been giving seminars and training and still has decent name recognition. Also, Vera trains with Phil Davis at Alliance Training Center in San Diego, California, and may have been working with him to prepare for Evans. However, it would truly mean desperate times for Dana White to bring Vera in to fight on such a high level so soon… Three weeks away from a fight sounds like “desperate times” to me…

Not Likely

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
Shogun is scheduled to make his return to The Octagon™ August 27th in Rio to face Forrest Griffin, which also takes Griffin off the table.

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
Rampage fought on May 28, and is scheduled to fight Jon Jones for the title at UFC 135. He will not give that up easily, and especially not so Evans can share the spotlight…

Dan Henderson
Wouldn’t that be interesting… bring Henderson back, now that he’s part of the Zuffa family again to fight Evans? If Dana is really not happy with Hendo, bringing him back would have two rewards: it would screw with Henderson’s training and would get UFC out of what looks to be a disaster of an event with Fedor… (more on that in “Rants” later)

Long Shots

Rafael Cavalcante
After losing TKO to Henderson in March, this Brazilian fighter may be ready to redeem himself. After all, he was fighting for the Strikeforce belt, which means something…. and can be a spectacular fighter. He should be off of any medcical descirtion hat it forves us to vid Again, unlikely, but interesting…

Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal
Now a year out from his loss to Cavalcante, King Mo is scheduled to fight Roger Gracie at Strikeforce 36 in September. A higher profile UFC fight would be hard to resist for the former Strikeforece Light Heavyweight Champion… and just like Evans, has beef with Rampage, setting up a fight with Jackson very well down the line…

Chris Leben
You can make a case that he’s in fighting shape and took very little damage in his massacre of Wanderlei Silva… but it was at 185, so unless he’s been gorging on Fatburgers… it might have to be a catch-weight bout… but I have a feeling The Crippler would be down for it…

And don’t talk to me about bringing Chuck Liddell out of retirement or throwing Cro Cop in there with Evans…

The UFC is in an interesting position: it needs to find a fighter who can perform, that Evans won’t turn down, and not throw any of their other events into turmoil… in a few days.

 

Is Charlie Brenneman available?