Breaking: Rashad Evans (@SugaRashadEvans) has been granted his release from the UFC, in preparation for a likely return to the sport, per his manager Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00). More info coming shortly to @ESPN. https://t.co/OrwRs4Jf4P— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) September 20, 2019
It might be time to consider retiring the term "retirement" from the MMA lexicon.
On Friday, according to ESPN, Rashad Evans (19-8-1) will not be picked up by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and has been given the company's blessing to seek fights in other promotions. This was announced by his manager Ali Abdelaziz. Retiring in June 2018, the former light heavyweight champ left the sport on a five-fight losing streak, with his final appearance a first-round knockout loss at the hands of Anthony Smith at UFC 225. Having fought out of his UFC contract, the organization opted not to retain his services now that he has returned from retirement. Evans will turn 40 next Wednesday.
Abdelaziz informed ESPN that, "[Rashad] and Dana White talked and it was a mutual decision. He's been back in the gym and he's feeling really good. I think there are a lot of fights out there for Rashad and I'll be talking to other promotions about him shortly." Shortly thereafter, White confirmed that Evans would be moving on from the Las Vegas-based promotion, freeing him to take offers from other organizations.
Although a health scare in 2016 briefly brought about concerns that Evans' fighting future would be in jeopardy, he managed to overcome those difficulties for a few more years. Evans hung up his gloves in 2018 with an impressive legacy with the promotion, having competed inside the Octagon 23 times while only appearing on the prelims once. Part of 12 UFC main events, "Suga" is one of a small number of fighters including Brock Lesnar and Conor McGregor to participate on multiple pay-per-view events that broke one million buys. Check out several more of his notable achievements here.