Evans taking some time to relax after fights
Life is finally moving at a slower, more casual pace for Rashad Evans. And for now, he’ll bask in the relative solace.
It’s been about six weeks since the 32-year-old Evans lost a light heavyweight title fight to Jon “Bones” Jones at UFC 145. And while Evans hasn’t learned to accept losing, he’s learned to live with the unanimous-decision loss.
“There are some things I wish I could have done better, some things I wish I did do better, and there are some things I’ll do better next time,” Evans said.
“But there’s no sense in beating myself up over it. What’s done is done. You just move forward.”
Evans has lived in Boca Raton, Fla., just north of Fort Lauderdale, for a little more than a year. He’s OK just kicking back for a while and opening some training facilities in the area. He’s already got one in nearby Delray Beach.
“I’m going to allow my body to get healthy again and see what the UFC has lined up for me,” Evans said.
For now, Evans, the former champ, is part entrepreneur and part TV personality. He’s been serving as an analyst on weigh-ins and post-fight UFC shows on FUEL TV. Evans sees TV as his future.
“I love it,” he said. “It’s definitely something I want to do after I’m done fighting. It’s like still staying close to the sport, but at the same time not getting beat up all the time.”
The physical beating of preparing for two matches in 2012 is part of the reason Evans isn’t in any rush to get back to fighting. Evans defeated Phil Davis on Jan. 28 and lost to Jones on April 21. That’s two fights in three months. Add in roughly two months of training for each fight, and there’s a physical toll to pay.
“Doing those two camps back-to-back was hard on my body,” Evans said. “I had the rib injury going into the Phil Davis fight and was just dinged up.
“When you’re doing those two fights back-to-back like that, usually the body takes (a lot of) punishment through training, and not just the fights. I had two five-round fights. It was kind of hard on my body.”
So Evans chooses to take it easy. And that’s one reason he likes his new South Florida digs. His neighbors are also pretty chill.
“I’m out where the people are,” he said. “I’m at the movies, I’m in the community, I’m at the mall. I’m everywhere.
“One thing I like about here is no matter where I go, everybody gives me that respect, and at the same time they respect my space and they don’t get too crazy. I really like that.”
Evans’ personality makes him a natural for TV. But he’s learning there’s an inherent pitfall with being an active fighter while also a TV analyst — criticizing other fighters.
“It’s really hard because these are still my co-workers,” he said. “I still see these guys all the time. But when I do have to say something, I have to say it.
“They may not like me or something I said about them, but at the same time I’m only going to speak the truth and what I see. And that’s the thing about it; I’ve got to keep it real because if I was fake, then the people who are watching me on TV wouldn’t respect what I’m doing.”
And on that note, Evans admits he owes welterweight Martin Kampmann an apology.
“The hardest thing to do is the fight prediction thing,” Evans said.
About a week ago Evans made the wrong pick.
“I picked (Jake) Ellenberger to beat Kampmann, and then Kampmann ended up winning,” Evans said with a laugh, referring to the second-round knockout.
“I’ve got to tell him I picked against him.”
All things considered, life seems pretty good for Evans. The loss to Jones is in the past. Fighting, opening gyms and doing TV analysis seem to be in his future. He seems well-adjusted.
“I took the loss pretty well,” Evans said. “It’s the sport we play in. It’d be great if we always could win every fight. But honestly speaking, that’s not logical. It’s the chance you take when you get in the cage. Somebody is going to win, somebody is going to lose.”