Newest member of the UFC Hall of Fame Rashad Evans lent smiles and tears after the moving Hall of Fame tribute video played last weekend at UFC Rochester, and the MMA community collectively stood in celebration of the legendary career of the former light heavyweight champion. But those smiles and tears also could symbolize the highs and lows of Rashad Evans’s career, something that practically every fighter can relate to. In a recent appearance on “The MMA Hour,” Rashad Evans took time to reflect on the highest highs of his career and the lowest lows. There were two moments that stuck out in Evans’ mind for the highs (Transcript via Fightful.com):
“The highest highs, no secret: my biggest knockouts,” he said. “Stepping on the scene with that big knockout over Sean Salmon at Hollywood, Florida. And then the big night with Chuck Liddell that changed my life. That one was a big one, not only for the result but just going into that fight, mentally speaking I felt that I answered the call.”
As for the lows, only one moment took that honor, and it was in one of the last fights of Rashad Evans’ career which took place at UFC 209, where Evans lost to Dan Kelly via split decision:
“When I lost to Dan Kelly, that was a moment for me where I was just like ‘dude, what is going on?” Evans said. Dan Kelly is a hard-nosed fighter but I just feel like my skill level and where I can fight at is a lot higher and I did not exhibit that.”
“It was kinda sad for me because towards the end of my career, my desire to want to compete, that flame, that burning desire . . . that dog that was there, it kinda just changed.
“Life wasn’t the same mentally speaking for me so competing for me was a lot harder.”
Even though Rashad Evans remains well aware of what the lowest point of his career was and even though he exited on a five-fight losing streak, he is pleased with his sweet career, as he should be, in spite of the bitter ending:
“I’m really satisfied. I couldn’t be happier to be honest,” Evans said regarding retirement. “Even though it didn’t end the way that I wanted it to, it ended the way that it needed to. That’s one thing that I had to reflect on and just accept, just moving forward in life. There’s a lot to be proud of in the career I had and watching that montage, I forgot the emotion behind some of things that I’ve accomplished too.”
What is your favorite memory of “Suga” Rashad Evans?