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Rashad Evans to Debut at Middleweight on March 4th?

Rashad Evans @ PKG Reshan Sabaratnam


Rashad Evans to Debut at Middleweight on March 4th?

Pending an approval from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans may finally debut in the middleweight class at UFC 209 on March 4th, in Las Vegas. The event will take place at the T-Mobile Arena.

Multiple sources are saying that the UFC is looking to book a 185-pound fight between Evans (19-5-1) and Australian Olympian Daniel Kelly. Kelly (12-1), has a 5-1 record in the UFC, and is a former Olympic judoka for Australia, looking to add win number four to his current winning streak. This marks Evans’ third attempt to fight at middleweight, after an unsuccessful bid before UFC 205, in which he was set to face off against Tim Kennedy, but because of an issue with a pre-fight MRI, NYSAC denied Evans a license to compete.

The fight against Kennedy was rebooked for UFC 206 in Toronto, but, the Ontario Athletic Commission upheld NYSAC’s decision, and denied Evans a license, though, Evans and his management have consistently stated that he is in good health, and have the documentation to prove it.

In an interview with this past December, Evans continued to insist that he is in good shape to step back into the octagon, saying:

“I’ve went to see specialists and make sure all my paperwork is in. I’ve done everything to get tested out and make sure I’m safe to step into the cage again. That was the first and foremost thing — making sure everything is fine — and I passed with flying colors.”

NSAC officials have stated that Evans would be required to undergo the “normal medical procedures” for a license, in order to fight at UFC 209, including resubmitting medical records. Evans is hoping that he can finally get that fresh start in a new weight class, as he is coming off of back-to-back losses at the 205 class against both Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira. After winning the UFC title in 2008, he would drop the title to Lyoto Machida the very next year.

The card boasts a who’s who of fighting talent, and even has a welterweight championship match, with champion Tyron Woodley (16-3-1) defending against Stephen Thompson (13-1-1) as the headliner.

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