"Suga" Rashad Evans: One of the Best TUF Coaches Ever

Todd JacksonSenior Analyst IOctober 29, 2009

Rashad Evans has always been an impressive component to the UFC.  He has always been in the mix since his debut.  His heart and desire led him to win the first heavyweight TUF in a division he was clearly not built for. 

His nearly unblemished record speaks for itself, and if your only loss came at the hands of Lyoto Machida, that's nothing to be ashamed of.

Simply put, "Suga" Rashad Evans is the real deal and always has been.  Some folks have an affinity towards him, others can't stand his style.  Regardless, this fighter has a wealth of qualities that can not be overlooked—like or dislike him, that remains a fact.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion has displayed one resounding quality with a undeniable display of coaching ability on The Ultimate Fighter Season 10. 

Rashad's approach to coaching is inspiring, to say the least; if not flawless at its best. 

The Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV has been rolling for years.  Many times, the coaches set the tone for the show more so than the fights or the fighters themselves.  That is definitely the case in the current season of the show. 

What has happened over the years has been the opening of a doorway into the personalities of guys most fight fans only know through their fights. 

Everyone knew what type of guy Tito Ortiz was, but few knew what a class act Matt Serra was until he participated in TUF

By showcasing not only the fights, but also the everyday actions and opinions of certain fighters, has allowed MMA fans to step into their lives and really get to know them.

The open window into these fighters' personalities has gone both ways for different fighters, for various reasons.  Matt Hughes lost a lot of respect from many fight fans after his stint on the show.  His personality could never compare with his talent level. 

Then again, getting to know Georges St. Pierre on the TUF show allowed fans to find a real stand-up guy in a fighter that normally was limited by a language barrier. 

Point being, 15 minutes in a cage does not allow for a fight fan to come to know what a fighter may be like as a person.  Often times, what fight fans see in the cage is day and night compared to what a fighter is like in real life. 

Wanderlei Silva is one of the scariest people on the earth after entering a cage, but on the streets is one of the kindest people in MMA.  Many casual fans may never know this.

TUF has allowed Evans to show a side of him many fight fans may never have seen.  Most fight fans can admit the guy is a phenomenal fighter.  That said, though, who knew what a influential and charismatic leader he could be? 

This guy has the potential of being every bit as great a coach and corner man as he ever was a fighter.  Of course he obviously is a fighter, but he has a long future in the sport with the type of leadership he is displaying as a coach.

He has a long career ahead of him inside the cage, but when that time passes, he may make one of the best coaches the sport has seen outside the cage.  His ability to encourage one moment and hold a fighter accountable another moment is impeccable. 

He can speak softly one second, and turn up the heat a second later.  He will not be intimidated, nor will he allow a fighter to falter.  There really is not enough good that can be said about his run as a coach on TUF 10.

Another aspect of his stellar performance is the simple fact that Quinton "Rampage" Jackson could make Chucky Cheese look like a good coach. 

"Hollywood"—sorry, "Rampage"—is doing such a horrible job of leading his team that anything Rashad does will look good.  Of course, Evans rises above now, but his performance is better than many who were chosen to lead a team on The Ultimate Fighter

In the end, it is worth noting how well he is doing.  It is more than likely a reflection of his own training that he gets with Team Jackson.  Greg Jackson is a premier corner man and trainer in this sport. 

It is apparent that the influence he has on his fighters sticks and trickles down.  Surely Rashad is his own man, but one would imagine he would have to give credit to Jackson for some of his approach. 

Rashad's win-loss ratio is just one aspect of his coaching abilities.  More important is the way he leads his warriors into battle, how he prepares them. 

He tells one fighter today is the day of your birth, today you will be born as a UFC fighter.  He tells another if you're not focused on winning this whole thing, if you're not focused on being the ultimate fighter, you've already lost. 

He identifies where the individual is at mentally, he addresses them accordingly, and they perform for him.  That is coaching at its finest, and Rashad is one of the finest coaches the TUF show has seen thus far.