UFC superstar Anderson Silva is rapidly approaching one of the biggest fights of his career as he prepares to face Chael Sonnen for a second time at UFC 148, and if he can defeat him again then an interesting new name can be added to the list of potential challengers vying for his title next.
In a new interview with ProMMANow former UFC light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans claims for the first time that he could be willing to move down to 185lbs to challenge the legendary fighter.
“Anderson (Silva) is somebody I would love to fight because when it’s all said and done, whether you win or lose, to compete against the best in the sport is really what it’s all about,” Evans stated. “You know, if I can walk away from my career and say I competed against some of the best in the sport in my time and era, then I can wrap up and say I had a really great career. So if the opportunity comes, and that fight happens, yeah I would drop to 185 to fight.”
Evans, who’s relatively small for 205lbs at just 5ft 11″ has been quizzed about the possibility of moving down a weight class in the past, but he’s always seemed reluctant to do so, and in the interview he explains why.
“I thought about it, then I thought about how hard that weight cut is. I used to wrestle at 174 in college, I would cut so much weight on a continuous basis and I was like, ‘You know what? If I ever have to compete again, I’m not cutting weight like that’. Because what ends up happening is, the philosophy is, ‘Oh well you go down to a lower weight and you’ll be stronger’. Not necessarily. Some people go down to a lower weight and they’re actually weaker, and I felt like when I was the best athlete I could be in college wrestling, is when I wrestled to my natural weight. So that’s what I try to do in fighting, I try to compete at my natural weight. I may go to 185 and not be the same fighter because I’m maybe cutting too much weight.”
Despite those fears it appears he’s finally settled on the idea, though reading between the lines it doesn’t sound as if he’d move down to fight anyone other than Silva.
Nonetheless, that’s big news for the UFC as Evans would be as high profile a fighter as they could match up with their long-reigning champion aside from his currently scheduled opponent.
Despite his failed attempt to take the light-heavyweight title back from Jon Jones recently, Evans is still an elite fighter with only two losses in 20 career fights and has a skill-set that could provide an interesting challenge for ‘The Spider’.
He’s also a proven box-office draw having previously pulled in big pay-per-view numbers for his fights with Jones and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, and is the kind of ‘big name’ fighter that Silva has indicated that he wants to face at this stage in his career so it seems like a win-win situation for everyone involved.