Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans will be making his middleweight division debut at UFC 209.
“I almost cried to be honest,” Evans told Fox Sports. “It was an emotional thing for me because no fighter wants to go out like that, especially me. I didn’t want to go out like that. I know one day this will be over and I feel like I’ll be able to handle it but I just wasn’t ready for it to end like that. I wasn’t ready for it to end without me having a chance to compete again and have the feelings of how you feel going into a fight.”
During his long tenure in the UFC, Evans has competed at light heavyweight and heavyweight. The former 205er is now preparing to make his run in a new division, which feels like a second career to him.
“It definitely feels like a second career. Because it feels like I’m starting all over,” Evans said. “Almost every aspect of it. From training situations to just getting cleared to a new weight class, everything feels brand new. I feel like a new kid on the block. It’s refreshing. I’m excited, I’m nervous, I have all those rookie feelings but I know I can do it because I’ve done it before.”
UFC 209 takes place on Saturday, March 4 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson headlining. Fightful will be providing live coverage of the event, followed by a post-show podcast.