UFC: Why Not Let Rashad Evans Take a Fight While Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua Heals?
I don't think I have to add too much backstory in order to break into the meat of this matter.
You all know what's been going down with the UFC Light Heavyweight title situation.
You all saw what happened at UFC 113 with current champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and the dominating fashion in which he dethroned Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida in order to finally get the title.
You all saw the somewhat-shaky-to-some-yet-still-fairly-dominant fashion in which "Suga" Rashad Evans dealt with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 114 in order to put himself in line for another crack at the UFC Light Heavyweight title.
What you don't know —and I won't even front as if I do know, because I don't know either— is the date in which the champ will finally clash with the number one contender.
To be frank, Rashad's stance is softening from what it once was, and why shouldn't it?
The man beat a tough contender—and former opponent of the champ—in Rampage for the guaranteed next crack at the UFC's 205-pound throne.
Unfortunately, the king is sidelined until a timetable can be defined for his return to the Octagon.
That's something I understand, and I applaud Evans for the initial stance he took, wanting to wait until Shogun was 100% or somewhere close.
On the other side of the coin, though, how could one dare to condemn him for having a change of heart and not wanting to wait for the champ to be healthy?
There's no opinion about it: Rashad Evans choosing to keep waiting longer would be running the risk of coming into the title fight rusty and thus unprepared for the raging offense that has made Shogun's career legendary despite the champ not even being in his thirties yet.
Quite honestly, this seems like the better plan of action for Rashad to take, even though it does run a more dangerous risk than standing patiently until a date is in dried ink for his title shot.
Even though taking on a fight after winning a #1 contender's bout runs the all-too-critical risk of backfiring and serving as strong logic behind the opinions of everyone who feels that Rashad has yet to truly earn a second crack at the belt, the one plus of it all is that Rashad will be fresh off of a win, and that's what could be the key in this fight.
If Dana White signs a tune-up fight for Evans, he'll involved in active competition and he'll be taking the Shogun fight fresh off of an outing against active competition.
Shogun will be coming off of rehabilitation from yet another surgery to fight Evans.
Now I will never doubt Mauricio "Shogun" Rua's chances in any fight, and as a writer, I refuse to diminish the man's skill, abilities, or legend at any point in time.
Not just anyone can beat Machida by TKO in a fight, nor can they appear to tenderize him in five rounds, even if they lose the fight thanks to the judges' scores.
Not just anyone can be compared to either Wanderlei or Anderson Silva either.
Recognize that this man's aggressive offense has done well enough to cement him as one of the all-time greatest fighters in the history of Mixed Martial Arts, but never lose sight of his current plight.
He's the third Brazilian to hold the UFC Light Heavyweight title, and he'll be making history by finally fighting Evans when he's back and ready to rumble, but there's just one problem:
Even if Shogun is 100%, how do we know that the time away from the cage won't give him any cage rust?
Dale De Souza is a Man on Fire—or as the regulars of MMA writing call it, an “Analyst”—for Bleacher Report MMA, as well as a contributor to Sprawl-N-Brawl MMA, RealSportsNet, Sports Haze and Hit The Ropes MMA.
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