Former UFC Light heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans faces Rogerio Noguiera on February 2nd as one of the co-main events of the UFC 156 fight card. Evans sits as a -360 favorite for the fight with Noguiera, who has a comeback of +290. Though he insists he is not looking past his veteran opponent, Evans has once again started talking about potentially fighting UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva in his next outing. With Silva looking to fight again sometime in the summer, Evans may be the best option available.
The main issue for Evans in a fight with Silva would be the weight cut to 185 lbs. Stature wise, it would appear possible, but Evans has competed at Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight exclusively throughout his career and a cut in weight to 185 would involve a lot of sacrifice and indeed could leave him weak. Evans walks around between 220 and 230 lbs between fights, so some changes would be in store for Evans.
Silva has been called an ‘artist’ by UFC President Dana White, and part of the reason for that classification is that Silva is at the point in his career where motivation for a fight is part of what he looks at.
This would not be a problem with Evans, as Rashad is a popular draw whose name recognition is bolstered by his winning a season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ reality show and his status as a former champion. Part of the motivation for both Silva and Evans is money obviously, and this would be a big money fight.
Another interesting factor is that Evans has spoken confidently on several occasion about how his skill set matches up with Silva. Evans thinks he can win the fight, and that has not been the case with several of Silva’s recent opposition.
With no clear cut contender at 185 lbs and superfights with Jon Jones and George St Pierre not getting the public interest that the UFC expected, Evans may be the best viable option.
Should the fight happen, Silva would clearly be favored at the sports books, as he would be against just about any opponent. Evans is a stocky, explosive athlete, and assuming he does not lose some of that explosion in the weight cut, Evans has the wrestling and the smarts to fight Silva using the Chael Sonnen model of taking the fight to Silva and not letting Silva get off on his feet. Unlike Sonnen, Evans has never been submitted in his MMA career, so he would certainly be considered more dangerous. BUt if a line is made, look for Silva to be at least a 2 to 1 favorite. As the catch phrase goes “Dana, make it happen!”