Now that former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans’ fight with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has been scrapped, Evans is looking to face Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist Thiago Silva next.
“Thiago Silva is a good fighter, I’d like to fight him and I think he wants to fight me,” Evans told FanHouse. “When I saw him after he fought Keith Jardine, he kind of gave me a nasty look that I interpreted like he wanted to take me on, and I’d like that.”
If the Thiago fight doesn’t pan out for Evans, there are several other opponents in the light heavyweight division who would make an intriguing matchup for The Ultimate Fighter Season 2 winner. But Evans named Thiago as his first choice.
“I think I match up really well with Thiago Silva,” Evans stated. “He’s a great striker, and I love his focus. He’s going to be a challenge, and that’s the kind of fight I want.”
Although Rampage Jackson backed out of his high profile fight against Evans to pursue an acting career, Evans insists that he does not hold a grudge against him.
“Rampage is funny, he’s charismatic, he’s got timing like a comedian,” Evans said. “He’s good on camera. If you’ve got those talents, and you’ve got an opportunity, you’ve got to capitalize on that.”
UFC President Dana White doesn’t see things the same way. White publicly criticized Jackson for backing out of the Evans fight so he could pursue his Hollywood ambitions. Still, Evans thinks the two could work things out if they met face to face.
“There was a communication breakdown between them. The UFC stuck by Rampage when they didn’t have to, and Rampage has also done a lot for the UFC, and they need to clear the air and get back on the same page. Dana and Rampage are friends and they should talk.”
As for Evans, the 30-year old fighter says he wants to reclaim his light heavyweight title, which he lost to Lyoto Machida at UFC 98, bluntly stating, “I want to go get my belt.”