Rashad Evans Granted UFC Release, 'Heavily' Considering MMA Comeback at Age 39

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2019

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 05:  Rashad Evans poses on the red carpet prior to the UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2019 Induction Ceremony inside The Pearl at The Palms Casino Resort on July 5, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

One year after retiring from fighting, Rashad Evans is looking to make a comeback at the age of 40. 

UFC President Dana White told ESPN's Brett Okamoto the company released Evans so he can pursue other opportunities with different promotions. 

Evans told Okamoto a new diet has his body feeling well enough to consider putting the gloves back on: "I changed my diet after I retired, and it's drastically changed my body and how I feel. I am definitely heavily thinking about coming back."

Following a first-round knockout loss to Anthony Smith at UFC 225 in June 2018, Evans said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show (h/t MMA Fighting's Alexander K. Lee) he was ending his mixed martial arts career:

“I’m gonna retire. There’s just so much that goes into it all, but at one point in my life I felt as if fighting was everything. It was everything. I put life second, but now life is taking over and now fighting has become second. Competing in a sport like mixed martial arts where you have a lot of guys who haven’t been to the top of the mountain and haven’t experienced it the things that I’ve experienced, they’re really hungry for it."

Evans lost seven of his final nine fights, including five straight, in UFC. He attempted to move down from light heavyweight to middleweight in 2017 but lost to Daniel Kelly and Sam Alvey by split decision. 

Despite the rough end to his UFC career, Evans was immortalized by the promotion July 5 by being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Evans' UFC career started when he won The Ultimate Fighter in 2005. He owns a 19-8-1 overall record and won the UFC light heavyweight title from Forrest Griffin at UFC 92. 

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