Back in the day, Rashad "Suga" Evans was a genuine phenom. Save for a draw with Tito Ortiz, he won his first 13 fights in a row, claiming the UFC light heavyweight championship from Forrest Griffin in 2008. Even after losing the title to Lyoto Machida, he bounced back to win four more in a row.
Then, well, then things changed. Suga seemed to be fading, and slowly the losses started piling up. First it was a decision defeat to Jon Jones for the title, then another to Antônio Nogueira. Eventually, thanks to injuries and out-of-the-Octagon drama, he found himself sidelined for nearly two years.
For Evans, his road back to contender status needed to start with Saturday's matchup with Glover Teixeira at UFC on FOX 19. Sadly, it didn't pan out, with Teixeira claiming the KO victory at the 1:48 mark.
At 36 years old, many wondered if Evans was done; if it was time for him to hang up his gloves for his own safety. It was this question that was brought up at the post-fight press conference, where Evans was too disappointed to even address the elephant in the room: his future.
"It’s disappointing, to say the least. I’ve been at the top and I’m riding a real low right now. It’s sad, it’s embarrassing, but welcome to being a fighter."
He didn't make any excuses for his loss. Rather, he gave credit where credit was due:
"Physically I feel good. I was a little rattled at first, but I felt like everything was on point. He just caught me with a good punch. I have no excuses. It happens in this sport."
Evans even went as far as to take the blame:
"I made a mistake. I shouldn’t have switched stances into a defensive position. I threw a punch just to adjust him and I paid the price for it."
Obviously, the most difficult part about a defeat is dusting yourself off and getting back up again, but it seems like it won't take too long for Evans to compose himself:
"I’m embarrassed but you have to go on. This is all part of it. The hardest thing is working through the disappointment. I was ready to fight five rounds if need be but I came up short. I have to wear it. I have to accept it."
Although he might have come to terms with his quick loss to Teixeira, that doesn't mean Evans is ready to make a decision on the future of his career. No yet, anyway.
"As of right now, that’s not a clear decision that I can say. I don’t want to lose hope or lose heart fighting. I’m just embarrassed and disappointed."