UFC 167 fight card primer: Rashad Evans vs. Chael Sonnen

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bloody Elbow presents its UFC 167: St. Pierre vs Hendricks fight card primer, previewing all the action at this weekend's UFC 167 event live on PPV. Here, we look at the co-main event: Rashad Evans vs. Chael Sonnen.

In the co-main event of UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks, former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Rashad Evans (19-3-1 MMA; 12-3-1 UFC) faces Chael Sonnen (29-13-1 MMA; 7-6 UFC). The UFC Rankings have Evans as the #4 contender at Light Heavyweight, Sonnen at #6. UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks airs live from Las Vegas this Saturday, November 16 on PPV with a fight time of 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT for the main card.

Both Evans and Sonnen are in the UFC rankings at Light Heavyweight, yet both men are at a tough point in their careers. They have both had recent bad losses and are both trying to stay relevant at the top of the sport. You get the sense that both fighters are potentially just one serious loss away from retirement, but at the same time, both still have the potential to put on very impressive performances. That makes for a volatile, must-win situation for each, and could make for a pretty fascinating fight.

How do these two stack up?

Evans: 34 years old | 5'11" | 75" reach
Sonnen: 36 years old | 6'1" | 74" reach

What have these two done recently?

Evans: W - Dan Henderson (SD) | L - Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (UD) | L - Jon Jones (UD)
Sonnen: W - Shogun Rua (Sub) | L - Jon Jones (TKO) | L - Anderson Silva (TKO)

How did these two get here?

"Suga" Rashad Evans has had a rough time of it in recent years. At one time, Evans was riding high - the UFC Light Heavyweight champion, undefeated, and a burgeoning superstar. But a period of inactivity, followed by back to back losses to Jones and Nogueira killed all of his momentum. Last time out, he got by Dan Henderson, which is a good win, but Rashad still feels far, far removed from the title hunt. He's had a strong career - is there much left for him at this point? Tonight may be very telling for his future.

More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 167

By now, chances are good you know where you stand in your opinion of Chael Sonnen. The outspoken fighter has turned a journeyman career around in recent years with his feud with Anderson Silva and his loud talk. He turned some heads this year with an impressive coaching stint on TUF, then followed that up with a dominant submission victory over Shogun Rua. Earlier this year, his title shot against Jon Jones was justifiably criticized. But if he beats Evans here, it will be hard to deny him a spot in the division's upper ranks.

Why should you care?

It's likely that your love and/or hate for Chael makes you pretty emotionally invested in his fights. He tends to do that to people. Outside of that, this is also a very close match with a lot riding for each man's future.

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