Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
ATLANTA -- Rashad Evans has long been considered a small light-heavyweight, but even after suffering his second career loss, he plans to stay there.
That said, during the UFC 145 post-fight press conference, he opened the door a crack for a possible move to middleweight following his defeat at the hands of Jon Jones.
"I’m a 205-pounder," Evans said. "I’ve only lost twice and I lost to a good competitor … But if an opportunity happens at 185, I'll take it. But I like 205, I'll just have to work my way back up and get back to a title shot."
Evans road back to a championship opportunity would figure to be shorter at middleweight, where he would be starting with a clean slate. In addition, due to division champion Anderson Silva's long reign, there is always a need for new contenders. Right now, while Chael Sonnen is on deck to face Silva, there's no clear-cut next challenger after him.
In the light-heavyweight division, besides top contender Dan Henderson, there's veterans like Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Lyoto Machida, and rising younger fighters like Alexander Gustafsson and Ryan Bader trying to make the leap. It is simply a more crowded field.
When asked about it the possibility of offering Evans a middleweight, UFC president Dana White said he had never considered the possibility.
"I honestly have never thought about it," he said. "We'll see what happens."
White also might have offered Evans enough hope to stay at his longtime home as well, saying an eventual rematch between him and Jones could never be ruled out.
"Anything's possible," he said. "If they keep winning, absolutely."
Evans' two career losses have both come in title fights. Besides losing to Jones, his other defeat was his championship loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 in May 2009.
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