Rashad Evans has seen a fight with Jon Jones lined up twice now before injury has derailed both of the potential title fights. First the two were going to fight at UFC 133, but Jones had a hand injury that was said to require surgery and then didn’t. Rashad joked about Jones ducking him at that point, but now Rashad had an injury of his own that has delayed the fight once again.
Evans had pins removed from his injured thumb, but his doctor will not clear him for any activity until another three weeks. That timeline didn’t fit with the UFC’s bigger picture, so the company had to move on. While Rashad could be mad about missing his title shot yet again, he has taken the high road and released a statement regarding the situation. Here is what Rashad wrote:
“After my last fight against Tito Ortiz, I dislocated my right thumb, which required it to be set back in place and held with pins. 24 hours ago, my physician removed the pins. At that time, I learned that it would require another three weeks of rehabilitation before engaging in any exercise or training that would require the use of my hand. Dana White and I spoke earlier today, and I fully understand his decision to put Machida against Jones for the title at UFC 140. Given the rehabilitation time I require for my dislocated thumb, I would not be 100 percent ready by Dec. 10. The UFC has to keep making fights that entertain the fans. I would have done the same thing as Dana in his position. I’m asking for the fans to support me as I rehabilitate my hand, and I promise I will be back fighting very quickly.”
Surely Evans is frustrated with being passed over for the title shot yet again, but he has shown some maturity that he lacked early in his career. Perhaps this newfound maturity is a big reason why the perennial number one contender is looking better than he ever has before in his career.
Jones will first have to pass an incredibly tough test with Machida and Evans could have another fight that he will have to win, but if Jones and Evans ever do come face to face in the octagon it is going to be war.