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Rashad Evans wants to get knee back to 100 percent before returning

Esther Lin

First came the news that Glover Teixeira needed to drop out of his Feb. 22 fight against Rashad Evans.

Then came the info, dropped almost as an aside by UFC president Dana White after UFC 183, that Evans is hurt, too.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion has been out of action since he defeated Chael Sonnen at UFC 167. An injury to his right knee caused him to pull out of a planned fight with Daniel Cormier at UFC 170, which led to the infamous substitution of Patrick Cummins in his place.

But in the wake of the Teixeira fallout, which was to have been his first fight in 15 months, Evans has decided the time is right to take care of lingering issues in his knee once and for all.

"I have to heal up a little bit," Evans said on a recent edition of The MMA Hour."I had to get some things cleaned out in my knee, I'm going to take my time getting it all healed up."

According to Evans, he accepted the bout with Teixeira when he was not quite fully rehabbed, a mistake he doesn't want to repeat.

"The time that I had off and not being on at that level, to jump right back into it, kind of aggravated my knee a little bit," Evans said. "I just need to make sure I just take my time with it and truly build up to strength. I was maybe trying to cheat the system a little bit and maybe go, and not fully do the rehab to where I was fully strong and fully where I needed to be before I go back out there and compete."

Though Evans doesn't expect to be out too long, he also doesn't want to commit to a timetable.

"They say I should be fine in a couple months," Evans said. "But I'm gonna really take my time and see when. I want to get my leg strong I want to be back where I used to be. The right one was skinnier than the left one and it just wasn't feeling right, so I just want to really build it up."

At 35, Evans knows he can't fight forever. So in his mind, that makes it all the more imperative he gets to 100 percent before accepting his next fight.

"I want to go out there and compete with this guys," he said."But I want to make sure I go out there and bring me. I don't want to go out half cocked. People don't want to hear that crap. If you go out there and you don't look good, ‘hey, you need to retire,' that's what people are talking about, and I don't want no one saying that about me."

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