Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans suffered an instance of bad luck at the worst possible time.
Just six weeks before he was set to challenge Mauricio “Shogun” Rua for the light heavyweight title at UFC 128, Evans was forced to pull out of the bout due to a knee injury, but is hoping to return to action as early as May.
“It’s going to be between May and July when he comes back,” Evans’ manager Malki Kawa told MMAWeekly. “It’s not bad at all. (The injury is) a real deep sprain that’s all.”
Kawa went on to address the possibility of Evans making a move to a different weight class. Evans’ training partner, Jon Jones, will fill in for him in the title match up against “Shogun” and both men have stated their reluctance to fight each other provided Jones is victorious.
“I think Rashad’s definitely serious about winning championships,” Kawa said. “So I think whatever turns out is where his decision will be made. I don’t know necessarily that he’ll drop down or go up in weight, he may still stay at 205. It’s a decision he’s going to have to make the next couple weeks. I think there’s been some talk about a real good fight for him right now, and it very well may be at 205.”
Evans previously competed at heavyweight during his time on The Ultimate Fighter 2 but immediately dropped to the light heavyweight division after defeating Brad Imes in the finals of the show.
Meanwhile, UFC 128 is set to take place on March 19 in Newark, New Jersey. Aside from the Rua vs. Jones title bout, other main card fights include Urijah Faber vs. Eddie Wineland, Jim Miller vs. Kamal Shalorus, Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Nate Marquardt, and Mirko Cro Cop vs. Brendan Schaub.