Rashad Evans revealed that his proposed UFC London bout with Michael Bisping fell through because “The Count” encountered “contract problems” with the UFC.
The former middleweight champion had earmarked the London event for his retirement bout. Several reports suggested that he and Evans would contest a rematch at the March event, but Evans insisted that the fight will not happen.
“It’s not going to happen,” Evans told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour.
“I did get the call, my manager called me — they worked it out. At first I didn’t want to even fight Bisping, but he asked to fight me. I was kind of perplexed by that, but then I thought maybe he just wants to scrap with his old friend one last time.
“I didn’t get any bad feelings about my friend wanting to fight me or someone who I thought was my friend trying to fight me, I was just like, ‘Ok, cool’.”
Evans had already begun his training camp when he found out that Bisping wasn’t taking the fight.
“I started training and getting ready for the fight, but then I didn’t hear anything back about a contract. Finally, I got a contract, but that was on the day that I learned that Bisping wasn’t going to take the fight. He wasn’t going to do the fight because he was having some kind of contract problems with the UFC,” he said.
“I don’t think the fight will happen now. I think that was fight that made sense to him at that moment. I don’t think it’s something that’s going to make sense for him. It may appeal to him, it may not. I really don’t know, but I’m not going to sit around and wait for it. I’ll just fight whoever and see what comes next.”
Evans shares punditry duties with Bisping on FOX. Although he says he will poke fun at the Brit for looking for the fight, he claimed they had not spoke about why Bisping asked to fight him.
“No, I didn’t,” he replied when asked if he had approached Bisping about why he asked for the fight.
“We spoke twice: once was when I accepted the fight — it was really respectful, ‘Good luck in camp’, kind of like the situation I had with Chael (Sonnen) — and the second time was when he told me that he wasn’t going to do the fight because of his situation. I didn’t ask him, I can only speculate, but I don’t know.
“I haven’t worked with him, but I’m going to bust his balls a little over that. It’s the fight game, I don’t take it personally. I’m close enough to Mike to know things that he might not want a mass of people to know. With that, I can see the intent of why he wanted to fight me.
“He knows I’m not going to be doing anything dirty or anything like that to try and mess him up or hurt him really badly. If you’re Michael Bisping and you’ve made a lot of enemies in this game, there’s a target on your back. If you’re wounded, people are going to go out there and try to kill you.”