This past weekend at UFC Fight Night Rochester, Rashad Evans was announced as the latest UFC Hall of Fame inductee. In execution, the moment itself proved one to remember for the former Light Heavyweight Champion.
“I was surprised . . . that caught me off guard," Evans told The MMA Hour. "I know what I’ve done and I think that warrants a bit of recognition but I never foresee myself feeling the way I did once I got that recognition. Hearing the fighters speak and hearing how you may have impacted them. Just knowing the impact I had through my efforts was for me, that point where I was trying to make it through the video without busting out crying."
The feat was one that Evans undeniably warranted but even still, 'Suga' retired unsure of his Hall of Fame credentials. "I felt like I was a decent candidate but I don’t know the process of it because it’s still fairly new," he said. "We’re still getting our hall of fame inductions underway and it’s not set in stone. There’s no criteria so you never know it you made the criteria. I hoped I would but you just never know."
Part of Evans' uncertainty likely came as a result of it's execution, a process that the man himself could only admire "The way they did it was so smooth. They were like ‘hey, in between fights before the main card really starts, we want you and Kamaru (Usman) to go on the floor just to say hi to people and be a presence out there.' Then the video started . . . and I’m like, ‘ah man, they really went all out for me and Kamaru, they put a whole video together'. I’m watching this video and I’m like man, there’s no Kamaru and hold on, this is only me.
"Then it started to come to my mind what this could be and I just got wrapped up in the emotion of it. It was incredible." As for the video itself, Evans' view unsurprisingly reflects the consensus, deeming the package an ideal representation of his storied career. “It was amazing," Evans told Luke Thomas. "It didn’t just only touch on who I was as a fighter and what I done as a fighter. It talked about what I do and how much I care about the athletes that I come across.
"How much I try to be that person for some of these athletes to achieve their dreams. For me, that was important to be recognized because out of everything I’ve done, that’s one of the things that I’m most proud of. The fact that I can look and be like you know what, that guy right there, I helped him when he didn’t have too much and he just had a dream."
Evans will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 5th, entering alongside fellow Ultimate Fighter Michael Bisping.