MANILA, Philippines – Former UFC light-heavyweight champion “Suga” Rashad Evans has lost the competitive fire that made him one of the best fighters in their sport, UFC president Dana White said.
In a media scrum following UFC 156 in Las Vegas, White told reporters that Evans was a “good guy, a smart guy,” but he has “lost that hunger.”
Evans turned in a listless performance at UFC 156, and lost to Brazili’s Antonio Rogerio Nogueira via unanimous decision. The former champion was passive on offense for most of the fight and only mounted a significant attack in the third and final round.
“He’s lost that desire and drive, and he needs to get it back. There’s no doubt about. He needs to get hungry again... He needs to get that fire back. He doesn’t have that fire,” White said.
Evans has lost two consecutive fights via decision, the first of which came at the hands of former teammate Jon “Bones” Jones in a bout that saw “Suga” fail to reclaim the light-heavyweight crown.
White is concerned that Evans may be contemplating retirement after the two bad losses.
“If that word (retirement) even comes out of your mouth in this business, it’s a negative,” said the UFC president. “It’s bad. The fact that he even said the ‘R’ word shows you where his head is at and what he’s thinking.”
Evans was considered a potential challenger to UFC middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva should he beat Nogueira, but he is most likely out of the title picture now.