UFC 145 Results: Should Rashad Evans Consider Retirement?
The former champion had racked up wins against Thiago Silva, Quinton Jackson, Tito Ortiz and Phil Davis since his loss to Machida. No doubt a long difficult climb up to title contention, which makes his loss to Jones that much more frustrating.
However, talk of retirement is premature. Certainly, Evans is not looking at anything so dramatic. His two losses both came in championship matches against elite fighters and judging by his performance last night, he’s still an improving fighter with ample opportunity to reflect and return better than ever.
At the post-fight press conference, Evans even hinted at a drop to middleweight where the road to a title fight would be that much shorter.
At 185 pounds, he would start with a clean slate and with division champion Anderson Silva’s long reign, there is always a need for new contenders. Right now, with Chael Sonnen busy hyping his rematch against Silva, there's no clear-cut challenger after him.
However, there’s still work to do at 205 pounds. Besides top contender Dan Henderson, veteran Mauricio Rua and a possible rematch against Lyoto Machida, there are rising stars such as Alexander Gustafsson and Ryan Bader who Evans has yet to face.
The division has depth, and Evans has the skills and athleticism to rise to the top again. He can look back with pride at his fight against Jones, putting up stiffer resistance than anyone else in the division. A rematch between the two—after Jones faces Henderson—may come around quickly once Evans can re-establish his footing in the division.
Jones' challengers outside Henderson are few, with the likes of Phil Davis and Gustafsson still some way off earning their title shot. And Jones himself already seems resigned to having to once again face his former teammate at some point in the future.
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