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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
With a lot of options but no clear front-runners, the UFC's middleweight division is in a state of flux as the UFC tries to figure out who to put in against Anderson Silva in his next title defense. One of the options that has popped up is Rashad Evans, the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion who has expressed some interest in dropping, but only for the Anderson Silva fight.
In an interview with ESPN.com late last week, though, Evans started opening up a bit on simply making the move, whether it was right into a title fight or not.
"I've been thinking about going down to middleweight lately," Evans said. "I haven't totally made up my mind. It's something I'm going to think about a little more in the coming months and see where my body's at, but I'm definitely giving it serious consideration. The odds of me moving down to 185 are 50-50 or better."
"Yes, I would like to fight Anderson at 185," Evans continued. "Don't get me wrong, Anderson is my favorite fighter. He's somebody I've looked up to for a long time. But if I had the chance to fight Anderson, it would be a dream come true."
"I'd like to go right into a title fight, but realistically there are other contenders at 185, and to skip over everybody wouldn't be fair. So, it would make sense for me to establish myself in the weight class and have a fight or two, whatever the case may be."
Evans has a lot of things to mull over when it comes to making the move, as he says it would be a permanent decision if he dropped down. Because of that, he's taking his time before making a decision one way or another.
"A move to 185 will be permanent," Evans said, "but what I've been thinking about also is that I'm one of the top contenders at 205, so there really is no reason for me to move other than fighting some different people. At 205 I fight tough guys anyway. Jon Jones is a tough dude."
"I'm a 205-pound fighter and the reason I've been successful is that I have attributes that, being a smaller guy, I'm able to bring, like having the speed advantage, things like that. It's something I might not necessarily have at 185. That's something I have to think about as well."
Penick's Analysis: Considering he's only ever lost twice, and they were both in title fights, Evans isn't at all in a position where he needs to do anything. He could stay at 205 lbs. and work his way back up the ladder to another title fight, and though his fight with Jones wasn't particularly competitive through five rounds, a rematch down the line could still be an option. Jones could also be out of the division at that point, as his future will definitely feature a move to the heavyweight division as he continues to grow. In the event of that move, Evans remains one of the top fighters in the division and would very likely be in line for a shot at a vacated title. However, a move to middleweight could still be very interesting and beneficial. He'd have new matchups, new opponents to face, and a chance to get a title shot a lot quicker than at 205 lbs. It's definitely a lot to think about, but it's a move he could make.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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