LAS VEGAS -- With a win over Thiago Silva Saturday night at UFC 108, Rashad Evans has seemingly punched his ticket to match up with his nemesis from “The Ultimate Fighter,” Quinton Jackson. The two were supposed to meet last month in Memphis, but Jackson’s tour as B.A. Baracus in the feature film remake of “The A-Team” put those plans on hold.
In the build up to the fight, UFC president Dana White made it clear that Evans would have to defeat Silva if he wanted a shot at “Rampage.” Evans did his part with a workmanlike effort.
When asked about a potential date, White was non-committal, but said he hoped to put it together for one of the company’s two planned May dates. He also addressed his running feud with Jackson.
“I’m over it, I’m past it and I think Rashad is too,” said White. “Now it’s time to do that fight, as soon as he’s done with his movie.”
Evans did not seem so sure the fight will happen when he spoke with the media after the event.
“If I get to fight him, it would be a good opportunity to say the least,” said the former light heavyweight champion.
After going just over a year without adding a victory to his résumé, Evans noted the importance of getting back in the win column and was pleased with his performance.
“Given a chance to get back in there -- to get back on the winning track -- was very important for me tonight,” stated Evans. “Being off for so long and having so many distractions and working through so many things mentally proved to be a little tougher than I imagined. But coming in here, fighting, and sticking to the game plan and getting a good win over a good solid opponent under my belt tonight was a big step in the right direction for me.”
Though pleased with his win, Evans wasn’t so sure he was ready to challenge for the title just yet. Should he score a win over Jackson, that would surely bolster his confidence and put him in line to reclaim his spot atop the 205-pound division.
“Anytime you get a chance to fight for a belt it’s an opportunity and you never want to turn that down,” said Evans. “But at the same time, if I’m honestly speaking with myself, I think that I need to maybe have one more fight just to integrate everything I’ve been working on, to make it so when I do get a title shot that nobody will ever beat me.”