Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans hasn’t stepped inside the Octagon since last April, when he was defeated by Jon Jones. However, at 33 years old, “Suga” feels the extended time away only helped prolong his career.
Evans returns to action next month when he faces Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar. The card takes place February 2 from Las Vegas.
After working his way back to a title shot, Evans (17-2-1) was unable to solve the mystery of Jones, falling by decision. His only other career loss came in his first defense of the belt, falling to Lyoto Machida.
“I guess your peak years are decided upon how well you take care of your body,” Evans said. “I feel pretty good. Having the time off, it allowed my body to feel better. Sometimes, as fighters, we just do camps and fights and we don’t allow our bodies to heal. I gave myself a chance to heal and it is going to make my career longer.”
Evans, a former winner on The Ultimate Fighter, has only competed three times since early 2010. Prior to the long stretch of inactivity, Evans was competing every few months.