Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans was set to make his middleweight division debut at UFC 205 and then at UFC 206, but he was not medically cleared by either athletic commission over those cards.
Evans, who has been going through medical testing since being pulled from UFC 206, now says that he is cleared to return to the octagon.
“I’m going to fight,” he said on The MMA Hour. “You know, the thing that happened in New York, it was pretty much a misunderstanding with the brain MRI thing. Because the radiologist read pretty much the same radiology exam and then he gave two different assessments of it. In 2013, he said it was absolutely fine, there’s nothing. And then in 2016, looking at pretty much the same identical image, he said I had new changes, which to the commission was like, wait, if you have new changes with your brain MRI, then your brain is still injured and you can’t compete. But upon further review and having everything looked at and tested up the wazoo, it was pretty clear what happened. And it was just a radiologist not doing his due diligence. But, at the end of day it cost me, and it is what it is, but I was able to put it behind me and move forward.”
Evans would like to fight in New York when he returns to the octagon, but he’s wary of the athletic commission.
“I want to fight on it, but with the New York commission, I don’t know if it would be a good idea for me to put my hand in there and do it,” he said. “If I can be guaranteed that I will get the clearance or something like that, then I’ll do it. But with the way the commission is, and things like that, and what happened last time, I don’t want to be flying on a plane coming in and them saying, hey you can’t fight again. That kills more than anything. When you’ve got to get your mind and your body ready, and you’re all revved up to fight for 10 weeks at a time and then they tell you that you can’t fight, it’s one of the most heartbreaking things that you’ve got to hear.”
Evans hasn’t competed since a 2016 UFC On Fox event, where he was knocked out in the first round by Glover Teixeira.