Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans has heard plenty of criticism for his previous plan to wait for a title shot.
Evans earned himself a crack at the belt by defeating rival Quinton “Rampage” Jackson last year after the two finally squared off.
But, injuries to champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua forced the planned match up to be put on hold.
With Rua-Evans expected to go down at UFC 128, another wrinkle was thrown at Evans, as he himself came down with an injury and was forced to pull out.
Evans’ training partner, Jon Jones, stepped in, and, as they say, the rest is history.
For Evans, it has been a trying time. He was expected to meet Phil Davis last month, but Davis was injured. Tito Ortiz stepped in and “Suga” earned a win, putting himself back into the spot of No. 1 contender.
Before Evans, though, can get his shot at the title, Jones and Jackson will square off later this month.
Evans’ manager, Glenn Robinson, said his client is prepared to wait for a shot at the championship, but not for too long this time.
“Rashad’s committed to fighting. If the title shot was a year away, I’m sure Rashad would take another fight. He’s not going to put his career on hold for a year, but we don’t anticipate that being the case. I hope that’s not the case. Rashad would like to fight for the title next,” Robinson said.
It probably feels to Evans like he has been running in circles since falling to Lyoto Machida in a fight for the UFC gold. He’s defeated Thiago Silva, Jackson and now Ortiz, all the while awaiting his rematch as other fights step into that spot instead.
“Hopefully, it will be for the title shot and he’ll get his opportunity to reclaim what belongs to him,” Robinson said. “If some reason the fight is delayed to a point where he has to take another opponent, he’s take another opponent. The title shot is his first desire, but more so than anything he wants to fight.”