Rashad Evans adds punch to UFC

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The UFC displayed some of its best talent recently at the United Center, bringing Chicago resident and former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans into the octagon to face Phil Davis.

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The UFC displayed some of its best talent recently at the United Center, bringing Chicago resident and former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans into the octagon to face Phil Davis.

The UFC has gained rapid popularity around the country in a small amount of time, with 32-year-old “Suga” Rashad Evans contributing largely to its success.

Evans defeated Phil Davis on a national-televised event in a 5-round bout, advancing to face Jon Jones (15-1) for the UFC light heavyweight championship title on April 21 at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Ga.

Although Evans and Jones had a friendly relationship at one time as training partners, Evans grew distant from the light heavyweight champion after Jones said to the media that he would fight Evans.

“We were teammates and we had a falling out," Evans said. "There was a promise that wasn’t followed by him as far as how things were going to be handled with us saying we weren’t going to fight each other, and I think he violated that.”

While the 5’11, 205 pound fighter is a force to reckon with in the octagon, his personal life is that of a dedicated father to his three children.

“I try to spend as much time as I can with them,” Evans said in reference to his kids. “Its hard because in my career, you have to strike while the iron is hot. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do what I can enough to the point where I’ll be able to retire at a young age to spend more time with them.”

Evans moved to Chicago in 2007 to be closer to his family after growing up in New York and living in Michigan since his college days. Evans attended Michigan State University, starting on the wrestling team for three years, compiling a 48-34 record before graduating with a degree in psychology and becoming the assistant coach for the Michigan State wrestling program in 2005. He won the light heavyweight belt in 2008 from Forrest Griffin and earned Fighter of the Year honors from Sherdog.com

The fighter stated that if he wasn’t in the UFC right now, he would’ve been a police officer after taking criminal justice classes at Michigan State University.

Compiling a dominant record of 17 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss, Evans has set himself up for a promising career, but also plans on continuing his legacy after he leaves the octagon.

“I just try to work hard every single day and see where that leads me.,” he said. “I enjoy doing the analyst work, but I’m just going to keep going on and following my passions.” 

Evans is now training for his fight against Jon Jones and is confident in his abilities to add another win to his record.

“I don’t have any predictions,” he said. “The only thing I have is my hand being raised at the end of the fight.”

Copyright 2012 Chicago Defender

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