At the weekend quotes emerged from Rashad Evans via ESPN.com that suggested he was disgruntled with the length of time he was having to wait for his title shot against Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua.
The same article also featured quotes from Dana White suggesting that Evans had turned down a stop-gap fight in September.
Today Evans spoke out via his twitter account in order to clarify his thoughts on the matter.
“Let me address this article that was put out.. First of all im not impatient about waiting 4 Rua 2 heal especially since it was my choice 2wait!
The UFC did offer me a fight since Rua was gonna b out so long against Lil’Nog. But I turned it down cuz the fight made no sense 2 me. A fight with Machida would’ve made more sense but they matched him up with Rampage. Dana White told me from the beginning they wouldn’t do Interm belt.
So @ that point I decided I wait. [Now] in this article it makes me sound as if I’m upset about waiting which is not the case. What frustrated me was I was hearing conflicting stories of when he was coming back. One moment Dana would say May then in the article he said the fight is scheduled 4 March. Also Rua manager said he will b out maybe longer than June. So I was frustrated on how the dates r ranging..
But like I said I chose 2 wait. But I had a clear idea on when the return may happen then it would effect choices I take. I’m all fighter I’m not afraid 2 fight anybody! My record would show that! I’ve fought some of the best men in my era & lost once.
And 4 the last time I never got offered 2 fight Machida 4 a Interm belt. Ed Soares did a article saying it would b a good idea..”
It’s somewhat ironic that Evans has taken umbrage at the article given that it was written by Franklin McNeil who he knows well as they have co-hosted alongside each other on ESPN’s MMA Live show.
Still, it’s clear there has been some miscommunication somewhere along the line with this whole situation.
To my mind it’s just another indication of why fighters shouldn’t be sidelined for long periods of time while waiting for a title shot. If it’s not possible to put together a title fight within six months then the No.1 contender should continue to fight in the mean time to retain their spot.
I think that’s particularly true when it’s someone like Evans who only has two wins under his belt since losing to Machida. Of course If it’s someone like Junior Dos Santos though who’s gone on a seven fight winning streak in the heavyweight division then perhaps there’s a little more room for leeway.
It does a healthy fighter no good to be out for this length of time though as they risk getting ring rust and losing the momentum they’ve gained to get to the title in the first place. And, as the old adage goes, ‘The Show Must Go On.’