UFC boss: Evans gets Jones next if he wins and stays healthy
Making sense of the 205lb title picture.
According to UFC president Dana White, Rashad Evans (16-1-1 MMA, 11-1-1 UFC) will get the next light heavyweight title shot should he defeat Phil Davis (9-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) at UFC on Fox 2 on January 28.
Evans was originally slated to fight current light heavyweight champion and former teammate turned rival Jon Jones last year, but injuries to both fighters and scheduling conflicts hampered the UFC's plans. The UFC and fans can still get Jones vs. Evans, but Evans will not only have to get through Davis first, but also stay healthy.
Via Yahoo! Sports/MMA Weekly: “We’re working on it now. We’re going to obviously see what happens in this Rashad fight at the end of the month. The next fight on Fox, Rashad is fighting (Phil) Davis, so we’ll see what happens there,” White said on Tuesday. “If Rashad wins, if Rashad comes out injury free, we’ll get the Jon ‘Bones’ Jones/Rashad Evans fight going.”
While it would make some sense to give Davis the next title shot if he beats Evans, the UFC may be better off booking Jones vs. Dan Henderson in that case. Henderson may not be the pay-per-view draw that Randy Couture was, but the UFC could market him as the grizzled legend making one last great run, taking on the fast-rising star and young champion Jones. At 41 with four straight wins, Henderson isn't getting any younger and quite could not have any more momentum heading into a title fight.
If Davis can not only upset Evans, but defeat him in impressive, highlight reel fashion, the elder Henderson may have to risk his no. one contendership in a non-title fight before getting a crack at UFC gold again.
As UFC boss White always says--we'll see what happens.
Check out our interview w/ UFC on FX 1 headliner Jim Miller: