Rashad Evans Not Retiring, 'Will Be Back' Following UFC 156 Loss

Kyle SymesCorrespondent IIIFebruary 24, 2013

Feb 2, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Rashad Evans is escorted to the Octogan before fighting Rogerio Nogueira during UFC 156 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Rashad Evans looked anything but a former UFC champion against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 156 earlier this month. In fact, he didn't even look like the fighter we've come to know. After such a dreadful performance, many thought the "R" word would be coming soon. However, it appears as if Evans doesn't plan on leaving the sport of MMA just yet.

Evans spoke at UFC 157's weigh-in show on Friday and explained the reason for his perplexing performance at UFC 156. MMA Mania has the quotes:

"...since you brought it up, it was a hard fight for me, one that I lost. It was a mental fight for me and I lost it mentally-speaking. I had a great training camp, but no matter how far you are -- and no matter how long you have been in this sport -- it happens and you have to make sure you are ready to fight on all levels."

It's clear something was wrong with Evans at UFC 156, and I expected there to be some sort of injury news to follow the event. The former UFC champion looked extremely tentative and seemed complacent to just play patty-cake with Nogueira for 15 minutes.

Evans attempted to turn it on late in the final frame, but it was much too little and far too late to matter. However, it appears as if Evans doesn't plan on going out like that.

"But, I'm going to be back [points to camera]!" 

Evans is still regarded as a top contender in the UFC light heavyweight division despite the loss to Nogueira and could find himself in some high-profile bouts against the likes of Mauricio Rua and Dan Henderson.

The possibility of dropping to 185 pounds has also come up in discussions about Evans' future, but that would likely only happen if Evans were offered a big-money fight.