This weekend saw Anderson Silva lamp Vitor Belfort, getting one step closer to a super fight with Georges St. Pierre in the process, and young light heavyweight Jon Jones ascend to a title shot against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, two very exciting prospects that currently have the MMA world a-buzz. Though there is good reason to get fired up over the two match ups (it should be pointed out that Silva-St. Pierre is far from a done deal, as GSP needs to beat Jake Shields in April for the bout to come to fruition), there are at least two people in the world that are less than thrilled about the potentially historic fights: Rashad Evans and Yushin Okami.
Evans is perhaps less frustrated than Okami, as he was forced out of his own planned match with “Shogun” due to a knee injury, an unfortunate situation which paved the way for his teammate/friend Jon Jones to get the opportunity in his stead. However, UFC president Dana White pointed out at the UFC 126 post-fight presser that Evans is likely regretting his choice to sit on the shelf last year while Rua recovered from a knee injury.
“I like Rashad,” White said. “Rashad and I have a good relationship. I think guys get bad advice sometimes. I don’t know if it was Rashad or other people telling him to wait, but in my opinion it was bad advice.”
White admitted that Evans, who must rehab his knee for the next eight weeks, now holds an unclear position in the UFC’s light heavyweight division as a result of losing the title shot.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen with that now,” White said of Evans’ previous spot as number one contender. “I feel bad about it, too. Look at the 185-pound division. Okami got hurt and couldn’t get that fight and now he’s been waiting forever.”
Okami was also listed as Anderson Silva’s next challenger after he defeated Nate Marquardt back at UFC 122, but with the strong potential that a huge fight between Silva and St. Pierre is on the horizon, “Thunder” will likely lose his top spot again.
“I’ve got to figure out the Okami part of this thing,” White said. “Somebody is going to be pissed.”
Evans has not fought since May of last year, when he defeated Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 114. Okami last appeared in action in November of 2010, when he took out Marquardt. If Silva-St. Pierre materializes, it remains to be seen whether or not Okami will tempt fate by opting to remain on the shelf while that bout is trained for and contested in order to preserve his top contender’s spot or if he will risk his position to remain active.