Ashlee Evans-Smith is back in the Octagon this month at UFC Fight Night Phoenix, facing Andrea Lee in a women’s flyweight division attraction.
“It was a partial LCL tear and I needed full rest for up to one month and the problem was that I did it about four weeks before the fight, so it was a hard decision…it was something we could’ve dealt with and I guess changed up the training, but it definitely would’ve affected my weight cut. Especially since I’m now at 125 as opposed to 135 before, so I think we made the right decision to pull out and go into the fight…whatever the fight was going to be, whether it was still gonna be fight her or a new opponent, 100% healthy,” says Evans-Smith in an exclusive interview with Fightful’s James Lynch.
Ji Yeon Kim replaced Evans-Smith in that bout and suffered a decision loss to Shevchenko.
Evans-Smith also admits that the weight cut heading into UFC Fight Night Phoenix has been tougher than usual.
“Unfortunately, I’m going to be a 100% honest…it’s a little more rough than the last cut because of that LCL knee injury. They (the doctors) said rest it and I did, I wanted to get better and so I rested and when you’re resting…you’re not running, you’re not training. When you’re training, sometimes to eat better and when you’re not training…sometimes you want to eat worse and so sometimes they go hand in hand. I put on a little bit of weight…for 135, I’d be easy-peasy…no big deal, but it’s gonna be a little bit of a struggle. No weight cut is easy and I always make weight, so that’s not a problem. It’s a cut for sure,” says Evans-Smith.
UFC Fight Night Phoenix takes place on Sunday, February 17 from the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona with Francis Ngannou and Cain Velasquez headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on ESPN.