5 Reasons Why Rashad Evans MUST Move Down To Middleweight

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SSJKRYME
5/22/12 8:50:39PM
http://mmacarnivale.com/2012/05/5-reasons-why-rashad-evans-must-move-down-to-middleweight/

More than a year’s worth of grinding drama came to an unfortunate end for Rashad Evans last month with his loss to Jon Jones at UFC 145. Jones retained the UFC light heavyweight title that Evans had held for nearly five months at the start of 2009.

But now what for Rashad?

Here are five reasons why a drop to middleweight is far and away the most viable option for him:
1. He will never beat Jon Jones: Let’s say he does get himself into position for a rematch in two years (it took him nearly three years to land another title shot after losing the belt to Lyoto Machida at UFC 98). By then, Jones will only be more experienced and a better fighter, while Rashad will be older, and likely slower and worse. Therefore, Rashad will never regain the light heavyweight crown unless Jones is forced to move up to heavyweight; and at 24 years old, that might not happen until Jones is 30, or even older.

2. He would finish fights far more often: Dating back to, and including, his fights on Season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter, Rashad has fought 16 opponents who are listed at 6’1? or larger and has finished only three of them (Chuck Liddell at UFC 88, Forrest Griffin at UFC 92, and Tito Ortiz at UFC 133). By contrast, Rashad has finished both of the opponents under 6’1? he has faced over the same period (Jason Lambert at UFC 63 and Sean Salmon at UFC Fight Night 8). Furthermore, Rashad has only two “clean-sweep” unanimous decisions; i.e., won every round according to all three judges over 6’1? or larger opponents during this time frame (vs. Mike Whitehead on TUF 2 and Phil Davis at UFC on Fox 2). Thus, Rashad is just barely beating larger opponents a vast majority of the time; but at middleweight, Rashad would get to fight opponents who are smaller than 6’1? a lot more frequently – such names as Chris Leben (once he returns from his suspension), Mark Munoz, Vitor Belfort, recent welterweight-turned-middleweight Jake Shields, and now Hector Lombard come readily to mind – so it is not unreasonable to assume that he would win fights at that weight class more convincingly.

3. The UFC light heavyweight division has a very different look from when Rashad was climbing its ladder in the late 2000s: No fewer than 23 current or former UFC light heavyweights have gone down to middleweight since late 2007; in addition, several smaller light heavyweights have been released by the promotion since then, including Jason Brilz, Alexandre Ferreira, David Heath, and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, who, not for nothing, was ranked in the top 10 in the world according to some sources going into his fight vs. Machida at UFC 79 in December of 2007. But Rashad is the only light heavyweight under 6' – and remember that he was actually listed at 5’9? on the UFC website while TUF 2 was on the air – who is even ranked in the top 20 today.

4. Where Jon Jones is 24 years old, as previously noted, current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva turned 37 last month – and more than the self-evident 13-year age difference may be at work: Some time ago Sports Illustrated ran an article about a “Curse Of 37? that appears to exist in sports, and one of its putative victims happened to be former UFC champion Liddell, who seemed to go wrong without any warning at that age – and the “curse” may have already started to operate against Anderson Silva in that his upcoming rematch against Chael Sonnen has been moved from Silva’s native Brazil to Las Vegas.

5. If Rashad moved down to middleweight and won the UFC title there, he would be guaranteed induction into the UFC Hall Of Fame since he will then have won titles in two different weight classes, joining only HOF inductee Randy Couture and virtually certain future enshrinee BJ Penn in having accomplished that. Merely regaining the light heavyweight belt does not necessarily assure him of that honor, especially if he were to defeat someone other than Jones in doing so.

The evidence is incontrovertible and overwhelming. Rashad needs to move down to middleweight.
Twenty20Dollars
5/22/12 9:13:26PM
Don't see Rashad beating Anderson or Sonnen.
Chael_Sonnen
5/22/12 9:19:50PM

Posted by Twenty20Dollars

Don't see Rashad beating Anderson or Sonnen.





Interwebbers need to erase the notion from there brain that dropping down 98% of the time only HURTS the fighter....not help.

Tuesday lesson from Uncle Chael....you are all welcome!
KungFuMaster
5/22/12 11:09:56PM
I have no idea what SSJ means but I have met a KRYME in other forums before. Are you the Kryme I am talking about? If so, you have made a wise decision to join Playground. This is a great site with great and respectful posters.

Regardless, welcome aboard.
jakewalters
5/22/12 11:11:18PM
1. Jon Jones
2. Jon Jones
3. Jon Jones
4. Jon Jones
5. Lyoto Machida
jae_1833
5/23/12 12:32:12AM
I only have a couple of reasons to agree:
1. His size/reach duly noted in the article
2. Endurance: could he actually improve it if he lost the weight appropriately?
3. Power, he is explosive as hell which could lead to a lot of finishes.
4. Lastly his skillset; wrestling, boxing and solid movement...I think he would be a great match for Bisping, Stann, Munoz, and yes even Sonnen. His boxing, movement and power would counter most while with some minor improvements he may be able to deal well against Munoz and Chael. Sorry bud but I would LOVE to see Rashad vs Sonnen.....I think its highly competitive.
bojangalz
5/23/12 6:25:15AM
Sorry, I didn't read any of what you wrote. I'll just say that next to Johnny Bones, Rashad has the most impressive LHW record in UFC history. He's small for the division, and I think he'd prosper at 185. but to give any reason(s) at all for why he MUST move down to MW is a bit ridiculous. He's the 2nd best LHW in the sports history. That probably pains some fans to hear that, but look at the records and see for yourself.
jae_1833
5/23/12 11:10:16AM
Oh I agree...it's definately not a must, just a good option.
BlueSkiesBurn
5/23/12 9:03:54PM

Posted by bojangalz

Sorry, I didn't read any of what you wrote. I'll just say that next to Johnny Bones, Rashad has the most impressive LHW record in UFC history. He's small for the division, and I think he'd prosper at 185. but to give any reason(s) at all for why he MUST move down to MW is a bit ridiculous. He's the 2nd best LHW in the sports history. That probably pains some fans to hear that, but look at the records and see for yourself.



The only time a must is involved (and even then it's not totally a must) is if the fighter is vastly undersized and wants to hold a title: see Joe Benavidez.

Rashad should move down if he really wants gold, but if he's content being the second best in the entire division, I am fine with that. I still think that Machida beats him every time they fight, but I don't think Lyoto is necessarily the second best. I think it's styles and matchups. Lyoto is a HORRIBLE matchup for Rashad.
Aether
5/24/12 7:20:39AM

Posted by bojangalz

Sorry, I didn't read any of what you wrote. I'll just say that next to Johnny Bones, Rashad has the most impressive LHW record in UFC history. He's small for the division, and I think he'd prosper at 185. but to give any reason(s) at all for why he MUST move down to MW is a bit ridiculous. He's the 2nd best LHW in the sports history. That probably pains some fans to hear that, but look at the records and see for yourself.



I fail to see how he's even the second best LHW currently, let alone in the sport's history. Seems like a pretty crazy claim given the fact that Machida and Jones both destroyed him pretty easily and he hasn't fought Shogun.
Boo_Radley21
5/24/12 9:47:50AM

Posted by Twenty20Dollars

Don't see Rashad beating Anderson or Sonnen.



I do. Maybe not Anderson but Sonnen for sure
PricklyPear
5/24/12 11:57:40AM
Barring a retarded gameplan (as twice before) Rashad beats anyone at middleweight. I'd love to see him fight there. Vs Jones, it looked like he only lost because of a terrible "stand and bang" gameplan, and the fact that Bones is long 6'4". I wish he'd stick to his wrestling and understand that it's what got him where he is.
Boo_Radley21
5/24/12 2:31:58PM

Posted by PricklyPear

Barring a retarded gameplan (as twice before) Rashad beats anyone at middleweight. I'd love to see him fight there. Vs Jones, it looked like he only lost because of a terrible "stand and bang" gameplan, and the fact that Bones is long 6'4". I wish he'd stick to his wrestling and understand that it's what got him where he is.



The new Rampage Jackson
Bubbles
5/30/12 11:54:20PM

Posted by SSJKRYME
1. He will never beat Jon Jones: Let’s say he does get himself into position for a rematch in two years (it took him nearly three years to land another title shot after losing the belt to Lyoto Machida at UFC 98). By then, Jones will only be more experienced and a better fighter, while Rashad will be older, and likely slower and worse. Therefore, Rashad will never regain the light heavyweight crown unless Jones is forced to move up to heavyweight; and at 24 years old, that might not happen until Jones is 30, or even older



should we say this for virtually every LHW, MW, WW, LW, and FW too? There really isn't anyone is going to beat Jones, Silva (maybe Sonnen), GSP, Henderson or Also any time soon so according to your logic every fighter should move down because they have no chance at beating the current champ in their division

frizzzlecake
5/31/12 2:39:10AM
I would like to see Rashad at MW but it's not going to be easy, Chris Weidman/Bisping/Munoz/Chael/Anderson are not gimmies by any means. Remember Rashad was gifted that Dec against Bisping.
spang714
5/31/12 9:43:57PM
I agree...he should move down to mw...but could he?

It's not that he is a huge lhw...but he's pretty thick...wouldn't it be tough for him to cut an extra 20 lbs?

i dunno
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