(This post first appeared on MMAFrenzy.)
Due to the fact Rashad Evans has lost four straight bouts, and will turn 39 later this year, some people believe “Suga’s” days as a legitimate threat are behind him. But, the man who will face him tomorrow night at UFC 225, Anthony Smith, clearly doesn’t share that view.
Smith has been booked to fight the former light-heavyweight champ on the prelims of UFC 225, which will take place in Chicago, Illinois. As noted above, the bout is taking place as Evans is mired in a four fight losing streak, which dates all the way back to 2013.
But, despite the accomplished fighter’s struggles, Smith recently told Combat Press this:
“A lot of people are writing Rashad off,” Smith said. “If you go on Reddit or anywhere on the internet and look at this fight, people are just saying I’m going to kill him. I don’t know what people are seeing that I’m not seeing, but I still see a dangerous guy. I know he’s lost his last four fights, but his only knockout was to Glover Teixeira, and Glover’s knocked out everybody. That’s nothing different. That’s nothing to hang your head about.
“He may have lost a step with his speed, but if you watch his fights, he seems to have adjusted. I’m not saying I’m going to have a huge speed advantage over Rashad, but the speed part of the game is pretty comparable. I think I’m more powerful than he is, and I think he’s going to be shocked. I think the reason he probably took the fight is because I’m coming off a loss and moving up a weight class.”
While Evans has dropped four straight, it is important to remember that his last two losses have been via split decision to Daniel Kelly, and Sam Alvey. So, it’s not like he was blown out of the water in those contests. Before Evans was KO’d by Teixeira, he lost via decision to Ryan Bader, who is one of the best 205’ers on the planet and Bellator’s current champ.
So, it will be interesting to see how this fight plays out. Smith is coming off a stoppage loss to Thiago Santos, but before that he had won three in a row, and “Lionheart” took out all of the opponents he faced during that run. So, in what’s likely a must win situation for Evans, he has a tough out in front of him.