Rashad Evans has competed against close friends before.
He did it as an amateur wrestler, and he’s done it in MMA.
Evans, a former UFC light heavyweight champion, will do it once again in November when he faces Chael Sonnen at UFC 167.
“It’s not awkward,” said Evans, during a recent interview on UFC Tonight. “I’ve fought a friend before when I faced Jon Jones, but this is totally different.”
Evans and Sonnen work closely on several UFC programs for FOX Sports, including work on pre- and post-fight shows.
“I compartmentalize it,” said Evans, of fighting Sonnen. “This is one step back to getting the belt. Chael is a great competitor. I want to show people that I deserve to be in the No. 1 contender spot.”
Sonnen, who was hosting the show, didn’t let “Suga” off without taking a jab at him, responding “Did you just say compartmentalize? That’s a big word for a spartan from Michigan State. Can you spell it for us?”