"As I learned, 'Rampage' might need time off," Evans said on Sherdog's "Beatdown" radio show. "It'll probably be Lyoto Machida, but I haven't gotten a confirmation on that."
Coming into this past Saturday Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Machida were both in the running for the title shot and Evans' opponent at UFC 98 would be determined by the result of Jackson vs. Keith Jardine.
Jackson won the unanimous decision over Evans' teammate, but was expecting the title bout to happen at UFC 100 on July 11. Due to Frank Mir's injury, the UFC decided to push Evans' title defense earlier and move Brock Lesnar vs. Mir 2 to the summer, most likely at UFC 100.
"Damn," Jackson said at the post-fight conference, according to Yahoo! Sports. "I'll do anything for [UFC president] Dana [White]. I had plans to go on a vacation and find an Asian girl and fly first class, stay in a hut and tell her how I was going to win the light-heavyweight title. Now it looks like I have to get my ass back to England to train in two weeks."
A fight for Jackson in May would be his third in five months.
The UFC built the entire UFC 96 pay-per-view telecast around the assumption that a Jackson victory would make official Evans vs. Jackson at UFC 98, but afterwards, UFC president Dana White acknowledged the possibility the fight may not happen.
"We still have to make sure Quinton is 100 percent," White said. "It's not a done deal. Quinton has to go get something checked out, make sure he's 100 percent healthy. If he is, that'll be the fight. If not, it'll be Lyoto Machida."