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Rashad Evans returns to light heavyweight vs. Anthony Smith at UFC 225

UFC 209 photos
Rashad Evans
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Rashad Evans is returning to the weight class where he was once a champion.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion will be back at 205 pounds when he takes on Anthony Smith at UFC 225 on June 9 at the United Center in Chicago, sources confirmed with MMA Fighting on Monday.

The bout was first reported by ESPN.

At 38, Evans (19-7-1) has been in a slump over the last few years, having lost four straight and six of his past eight. His last win came against Chael Sonnen at UFC 167 on Nov. 16, 2013. A move down to middleweight proved fruitless for Evans, who dropped back-to-back split decisions to Sam Alvey and Dan Kelly in his most recent outings.

The results have been a far cry from Evans’s peak, when he won 17 of his first 19 pro bouts including a light heavyweight championship win over Forrest Griffin back in December 2008.

Smith, 29, also recently announced that he would be making the move up to light heavyweight after spending the majority of his 41-fight career competing at 185 pounds. “Lionheart” has won three of his past four bouts and holds a 28-13 record overall. He last fought at UFC Belem in February, where he lost to Thiago Santos via second-round TKO.

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