Former UFC Champ Answers Rumor of Move to WWE

Dustin FilloyFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2014

Rashad Evans waits to begin a UFC 167 mixed martial arts light heavyweight bout against Chael Sonnen on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Las Vegas. Evans won by TKO. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

Secondhand information shouldn't always get passed off as gospel, particularly when it pertains to an outlandish subject like a UFC star converting to pro wrestling.

Former UFC light heavyweight Rashad Evans could concur with those sentiments after getting wind of what Dave Meltzer reported in this week's subscribers-only Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

"Add Rashad Evans to the list of UFC fighters who have recently inquired regarding going to WWE. Evans, who is almost 35, is recovering from major knee surgery and had talked about considering retirement even before that," said Meltzer.

Evans, who pulled out of his last scheduled bout in early 2014 due to a knee injury, all but squashed the rumor of a move to the WWE via an interview with's Michael Stets on Thursday.

If I ever did anything like that, it would be after I finished fighting, and I'm not gonna be done fighting for at least four years...I had a million people asking me if I was retiring for wrestling, but honestly speaking, if I didn't get seriously paid to do it, I wouldn't do it. I think it would be disrespectful to my legacy in the UFC if I didn't do a deal that would make sense where I got paid. Besides, that s--t is harder on my body than fighting.

The 34-year-old Evans, ranked No. 3 in the UFC's light heavyweight division, suffered an ACL tear that forced him out of his scheduled co-main event bout with second-ranked 205-pounder Daniel Cormier at UFC 170.

Evans summed up the progress of his rehab by saying, "I'm five months in and feeling pretty good."

If Evans ever decides to ink a deal with the WWE, he wouldn't be the first UFC champ to do so. In 2012, less than two years after relinquishing his UFC heavyweight belt to Cain Velasquez, Brock Lesnar rejoined the WWE after an eight-year hiatus from the company.

The winner of The Ultimate Fighter's second season, Evans has won his last two fights. Suga bested Dan Henderson at UFC 161 before pummeling Chael Sonnen at UFC 167.

Prior to his wins over Hendo and The American Gangster, Evans dropped back-to-back unanimous decisions to light heavyweight champ Jon Jones and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 145 and UFC 156, respectively.