After Saturday night’s poor performance against Antonio Rogerio Noguira, former champion Rashad Evans drew some tough criticism from Dana White.
White watched the co-headline of UFC 156 and he apparently saw what was obvious to the rest of us as well: Rashad Evans did not appear to be invested in the fight. He came out flat and never picked it up in a match that could have pushed him into a title match against Anderson Silva.
White pointed to Evans admitting he had considered retiring not too long ago. White spoke of that thought as a poison in an MMA fighter’s mind, and says Evans was his own worst enemy long before he entered the ring against Noguira.
“He lost his hunger” White says, pointing out the way Rashad was clearly fatigued as the match entered its final minutes. According to White, the only time he had ever seen conditioning be a factor for Evans was in his first fight against Tito Ortiz.
Evans began his UFC career by winning the second season of the Ultimate Fighter. He shocked the world when he knocked out Chuck Liddell and secured a shot at the Light Heavyweight Title at UFC 92. Evans won that match, but his overconfidence cost him in his title defense against Lyoto Machida. Since that time, Evans has had an up and down career, and his performance last night really calls into question his desire to fight in the future.
Dana White’s comments are a complete turnaround from just a couple of weeks ago when he said that a win for Evans would make him consider giving the former champ a title shot, leapfrogging the number one middleweight contender Chris Weidman.
With that type of motivation spurring Evans on in the ring, fans should have seen a completely different match then they did. Everyone knew it too based on the boo’s that were heard as the match came to an end.
The future is uncertain for Rashad Evans at this point, but if he does not find a way to reignite the fire that once burned inside of him, pushing him to greatness, he may as well pack it in now. Maybe he is at the point where coaching would be the best choice for his future, and after last night, it would come as no surprise if that is what he chooses to do.
It is great to see a recognized name like Evans on a card, but if he is not fighting with his heart in the match then it is a waste of time, not just for the two contestants, but for the fans that make it all possible as well.
Jeff Everette is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA. Follow Jeff on twitter @jeverettesports, like his page on FaceBook, or add his Google + to your circles for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.