Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans was poised to face Daniel Cormier earlier this year before a devastating knee injury forced him to the sidelines.
Now, as he continues on his road to recovery, “Suga” has a target date in mind for his return to the Octagon.
“I want to return in February,” he said on a recent episode of The MMA Hour. “That’s just me giving myself enough time to make sure that I feel comfortable getting back in there because I know when I get back in there, there’s nothing but tough guys in my way.
“I’m definitely going to have a tough fight coming back. I want to be ready for that.”
Evans (19-3-1) has posted back-to-back wins over Chael Sonnen and Dan Henderson, but will turn 35 years old this September. He won 17 of his first 19 pro fights, including a victory over Forrest Griffin to become champion.
However, after picking up victories over Thiago Silva, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Tito Ortiz and Phil Davis, Evans earned a shot at the title and former teammate and close friend Jon Jones. Originally, it was Evans who was to take on Mauricio “Shogun” Rua for the title, but he went down with an injury and Jones took his spot.
“I was thinking like that earlier and was like, ‘It’d be fun to fight Glover [Teixeira] or whoever,’ but honestly speaking, the way things are shaping up right now in my weight class, whoever I fight is going to be an interesting match up because I’ve got a lot to prove coming back from an injury and trying to make that push for the title,” Evans said. “Whoever they have up there, whoever is ready for me, whoever they’re going to put me up against, I’m ready for whatever.”