While the debate as to who won last’s night UFC 161 headliner between Dan Henderson and Rashad Evans might rage on, at the end of the day, Evans got back on a track with the split decision win. Having worked his way past one of the sport’s greatest fighters ever, and one of the UFC’s top light-heavyweights, it’s pretty much a certainty Evans will take on another contender next. Especially since UFC President Dana White didn’t blast the judge’s decision at the post fight presser, credited Evans for being in the “best shape of his life”, and rightfully pointed out that he just defeated a feared finisher in “Hendo.”
So who could be next for Evans? If you take a quick look at the UFC light-heavyweight rankings, the only men ahead of Evans now are Glover Teixeira, Lyoto Machida, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Alexander Gustafsson (Hendo was ranked third prior to last night). The UFC probably won’t throw Evans in a rematch with Nogueira, who just defeated him in February, and Gustafsson will throw down with champion Jon Jones in September.
In his post-fight, FUEL TV interview with Ariel Helwani, Evans had this to say about who might be next.
“I just want to work on the areas where I feel like I need to get stronger at and then whoever the UFC puts against me, I’m there. I heard that, what’s his name? Glover? Glover said he’d like to have a fight with the winner , and you know, I’m not calling anybody out, but whoever the UFC says would be a good fight, then I’m not turning anybody down.”
Pulling the old “what’s his name” shtick huh? That would be a compelling bout, as Evans would be an interesting test for Teixeira, who has more than lived up to the hype and is probably a big win away from a title shot.