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Rashad Evans planning to fight again, receives release from UFC

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Rashad Evans
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It sounds like fans haven’t seen the last of “Suga.”

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, 39, is working on making a comeback and is free to pursue bouts outside of the promotion after fighting out his contract and retiring in June of last year. MMA Fighting confirmed the news with Evans’s manager Ali Abdelaziz following an initial report by ESPN.

Evans (19-8-1) last competed at UFC 225, where he was knocked out in 53 seconds by Anthony Smith. According to Abdelaziz, that was the last fight of Evans’s most recent contract. He closed out his UFC run with five consecutive losses, two of which came at middleweight.

UFC officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Evans’ contractual status.

Evans made a name for himself in the light heavyweight division, defeating the likes of Michael Bisping and Chuck Liddell en route to winning UFC gold with a TKO victory over Forrest Griffin at UFC 92 in December 2008. Though he failed to defend the title, he went on to pick up other high-profile wins over Quinton Jackson, Tito Ortiz, future Bellator champion Phil Davis, Dan Henderson, and Chael Sonnen.

He was also the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 2 heavyweight tournament, an achievement that launched his UFC career.