MANILA, Philippines – Former UFC champion Rashad Evans is pondering a possible move to the middleweight division ahead of his light heavyweight match against Rogerio “Little Nog” Nogueira this weekend.
Evans, who lost his title fight to light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, said he is looking forward to another title shot even if means stepping down to 185 pounds.
“The thing is, I've been around, but I'm still a young fighter. Whether it is at 205, or at 185 if I could make the weight, I want to fight the top guys and be in the title picture,” said “Suga” in Yahoo! Sports.
"I'm not here to fight meaningless fights. I want to fight guys who matter, guys who are scary and who get the juices flowing."
A title shot in the middleweight ranks means facing mixed martial arts (MMA) pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva.
Evans said he maintains a high respect for the Brazilian champion, who hasn’t tasted defeat since 2006.
"I love to watch Anderson Silva compete and he's one of my favorite athletes in any sport," Evans said. "As a fighter, I truly respect what he's done in this sport and the way he's dominated. It's been amazing.
But he claims he knows how to beat the middleweight champion, and that he’ll beat Silva when he has the chance.
“It would be an honor for me to have a chance to compete against him, but I say it's bittersweet because if I get the chance, I know I could beat him because of the way his style is."
Evans, meanwhile, has to beat Nogueira first before thinking of challenging Silva.
He will face “Little Nog” on the undercard of UFC 156, which headlines the featherweight title match between champion Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar.
UFC 156 will be held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday.
It will be aired locally by Balls Channel on Sunday, February 3 at 11:30 a.m. Studio 23 will be airing a same day replay of UFC 156.