Former Champion Rashad Evans is the number one contender for the UFC’s light heavyweight title, currently held by champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Rua, however, is currently sidelined until March of 2011 with injuries. While this presents Evans with the opportunity to take more fights before Rua is fully recovered, Evans would prefer to stay on the shelf and wait for his title fight with Rua.

In an interview with MMA Heat, Evans said he was opposed to a rematch with Lyoto Machida during Rua’s absence, since Evans needed to beat both Thiago Silva and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in order to earn his title shot against Rua. When asked about an interim title scenario, Evans dismissed this idea, saying, “I don’t think there needs to be an interim fight.”

Evans added that by taking time off, he would be able to learn a great deal more that he would be able to bring to his training camp. Calling his time off his “Growing Phase,” Evans made it clear that he is determined to fight Rua for the title, saying, “If he’s out until March, then I’ll wait until March to fight.”