Former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans is the latest inductee announced for the 2019 UFC Hall of Fame.
“Suga” will officially become a part of the Hall of Fame’s Modern Wing when the 2019 class is inducted on July 5 during International Fight Week. His inclusion was announced during Saturday’s UFC Rochester broadcast.
Evans, who hails from Niagara Falls, New York, was at the Blue Cross Arena in nearby Rochester when the above video played and the 39-year-old couldn’t hide his emotions when reacting to the honor.
Originally a heavyweight cast member on The Ultimate Fighter 2 back in 2005, Evans won that season’s tournament and quickly emerged as one of the light heavyweight division’s most promising stars, going unbeaten in his first nine UFC bouts culminating in a third-round TKO of Forrest Griffin at UFC 92 on Dec. 27, 2008, to capture a UFC championship. That run also included wins over future Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Michael Bisping.
He dropped the title to Lyoto Machida in his next fight, but remained a force at 205 pounds, rattling off four straight wins over names like Quinton Jackson, Tito Ortiz, and Phil Davis to set up a highly personal grudge match with former teammate Jon Jones. That bout, which took place at UFC 145, proved to be a box office success and further established that Evans as one of the UFC’s bankable stars.