Rashad Evans is back on track and hunting down a shot at the light heavyweight title.
He erased any doubt that lingered about his heart being in the game when he steamrolled former two-divisional title challenger Chael Sonnen at UFC 167 on Saturday. It took the former light heavyweight champion less than a full round to pound out the "Gangster from West Linn," as Evans picked up the TKO victory to give him back-to-back wins.
By defeating Sonnen, the former Michigan State University wrestling standout joins a crowded title picture in the 205-pound division that includes Alexander Gustafsson, Phil Davis and former heavyweight contender-turned-light-heavyweight-title-hopeful Daniel Cormier.
With "The Mauler" slated to face Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night: London in March, the remaining three fighters are in a unique position. While rumors swirled of a Davis vs. Cormier bout for early 2014, those plans seem to be going in a different direction, according to Evans.
During an interview on UFC Tonight on Wednesday, Evans said he believes his next fight will come against Cormier. The former The Ultimate Fighter winner reiterated nothing is remotely official, but he's been hearing talk that his next outing will come against the former Olympian.
While the matchup makes sense in the big picture, it seems to be the most unlikely pairing of the bunch. Evans and Cormier are friends outside of the cage and trained together in the early stages of "D.C.'s" career. Evans was once sidetracked by putting his personal relationships before fighting, but it appears those days are behind him.
There is still no official announcement on Evans vs. Cormier, but it seems to be the avenue the UFC is looking to travel, according to Evans anyway.
Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report.