Evans says his loss to Dan Kelly at UFC 209 has only fueled him to train harder than ever before.
Rashad Evans suffered one of the biggest setbacks of his career when he dropped a split decision to the unranked Dan Kelly at UFC 209 this past weekend.
Evans, a former UFC light heavyweight champion and top-ranked talent, went back-and-forth with Kelly for three rounds but couldn’t find his rhythm.
The loss — Evan’s third straight — has prompted many pundits to question his future in the sport, with many questions looming over ‘Suga’s’ legitimacy as a top contender in MMA’s premiere promotion.
Evans, though, says he has no plans to retire and is more hungry than ever to snap his losing streak.
“I’ve got to get this off me. I’ve got to get this loss off me. I know I’m better than this,” Evans told “The Luke Thomas Show” this week, per Damon Martin of FOX Sports. “I know I’m a better competitor than this and I want to go out there and I want to fight as much as I can. That’s just the truth of the matter.”
The 37-year-old admits it will be a sad day when he has to hang up the gloves and can no longer compete, but says that day has yet to come.
“I’m 37 years old. I don’t know how long my body’s going to be able to hold out to do what I love to do so I want to compete as much as I can before I can’t compete anymore. When I can’t compete anymore, I can’t compete anymore but at the end of the day right now, I still feel like I can compete and that’s what I want to do.”
Prior to his 185-pound debut against Kelly, Evans was expected to take on Tim Kennedy but was forced to withdraw from the bout on two separate occasions due to an irregularity in his pre-fight medicals.
The former champ says he was in great physical shape in the lead-up to UFC 209, which makes the loss to Kelly sting that little bit more.
“I had a great training camp. I felt physically great. I felt like I was going to go out there and do some great things, but when it was time to go it just didn’t happen like that for me,” Evans said. “That’s something that’s bothersome to me. That’s something that I really feel I need to go and take a look at.
“But at the same time you don’t want to sit and over think every single thing cause you can’t figure it all out. The best thing to do is to just get back out there and to fight again. To try and find that competitive rhythm. Find that flow.”
The UFC will be assessing Evan’s options for the future, with a bout against Nate Marquardt or Tim Boetsch possibly in the works.