Rashad Evans is going back to the division where he first made his name.
After a brief stint at middleweight, Evans will return to light heavyweight and face Anthony Smith at UFC 225. The promotion initially confirmed the pairing to ESPN.com on Monday. UFC 225 takes place at the United Center in Chicago on June 9 and also features a pivotal heavyweight matchup pitting Alistair Overeem against Curtis Blaydes.
Evans, who captured the 205-pound belt with a third-round technical knockout of Forrest Griffin at UFC 92, is currently mired in a four-fight losing streak. The last two of those defeats came at 185 pounds: split decision setbacks to Sam Alvey and Daniel Kelly. He also suffered a knockout loss to Glover Teixeira and a decision defeat to Ryan Bader at light heavyweight during his current skid. The 38-year-old hasn’t tasted victory since a third-round TKO of Chael Sonnen at UFC 167 in November 2013.
Smith, 29, is also moving up to 205 pounds for the bout. “Lionheart” saw a three-bout winning streak come to an end at UFC Fight Night 125, where he suffered a second-round TKO defeat to Thiago Santos on Feb. 3. The Omaha, Neb., native had previously earned successive KO/TKO wins against Hector Lombard, Andrew Sanchez and Elvis Mutapcic.