Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans has once again found himself in an unfortunate position in the division. In case you forgot, last spring Evans was forced from his promised title shot against then champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. He was replaced by Greg Jackson teammate Jon Jones, who has sat atop the LHW throne ever since. Rashad was expected to be Jones first contender, but an odd injury situation on Jones end delayed the match. Evans finally got his shot at UFC 145 where he lost a unanimous decision.
Now, as Rashad has been waiting to decide his next move, his new Blackzillian teammate Vitor Belfort is next to face Jon Jones. Rashad appeared on the MMA Hour to explain his mentality as he helps to prepare Belfort:
I’m glad Vitor made me part of his journey to become champion. People want to always throw ego into it, like 'Rashad, what are you going to do?' And this and that. I'm not worried about that, man. My main focus is for Vitor, that's it.
As far as if Vitor becomes light-heavyweight champ, that’s great, that's what I would want. I don't know how far am I from getting a title shot. You never know with the UFC, so I’m just going to keep fighting and competing to be a champion, and whatever breaks free, breaks free. If I get an opportunity at 185 and it's a serious opportunity, then I'll take it. Same thing at 205. I'm still pursuing the championship anyway I can.
Of course the coaching dynamic with Vitor Belfort adds a new perspective to his ongoing feud with Jones. However, Evans seems more than happy to let the bad blood pass:
Being who he truly is, is not a guy who is disliked. He can actually be a good person, but I think him slipping back and forth between the person he thinks people want him to be and who he truly is has really messed him up.
Of course, if he ever needed me for anything, I’ll be there to talk to him and to help him out if he needs it. And I don't know everything there is to know about life, either, so if there’s something i have a problem with, I’m sure I can learn from him, too.
Rashad Evans words reflect the perception of many MMA fans. Jon Jones has been oft criticized as coming off as "fake". Jones has most recently come under criticism for his decision not to fight former Middleweight contender Chael Sonnen on extremely short notice. Although former champs like Rashad and Chuck Liddell have come forward to say they would have accepted the fight, Jones has stood by his decision.
Evans does not yet have a fight scheduled. He has gone on record saying he'd like to return in December at his normal weight class.