Nothing lasts forever, as the old saying goes. And that feels doubly true for MMA retirements. For so many lifelong combat sports athletes, no matter the losses, the desire to compete never really fades away.
So it’s with little surprise that, after months and months of teasing a potential return to competition, former UFC champion Rashad Evans is set to fight once again. A former TUF Season 2 winner and light heavyweight title holder, Evans hung up his gloves back in 2018—on the heels of a five fight losing streak. And while he has worked regularly as an analyst for ESPN, it seems the call of the cage was just too strong.
Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole first reported the news on Twitter, that Evans had signed on for the US debut of recently retired UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Eagle FC organization.
UFC Hall of Famer @SugaRashadEvans will come out of retirement to fight on @TeamKhabib's first US card on Jan 28 in Miami at Eagle FC 44. Plans are for it to be a light heavyweight bout, but not opponent yet— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) December 6, 2021
No word yet on who exactly Evans’ opponent will be for the January 28th fight card, but ESPN reports that the event is expected to be headlined by a heavyweight bout between former UFC heavyweight title challenger Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva and former GLORY kickboxing champion Tyrone Spong. Spong has not competed in MMA since 2013, when he picked up a decision win over Angel DeAnda at WSOF 4.
Silva is currently riding a seven-fight winless streak, including a KO loss to Gabriel Gonzaga in a bare knuckle boxing match back in 2019. Six of those seven losses have come by way of knockout. As of yet, no other bouts have been made official for the event.
Aside from MMA, Evans is also set to take on Ryan Aitken in his Combat Jiu-Jitsu debut at the CJJ World Championships on December 19th.