Rashad Evans vs. Dan Kelly Set for UFC 209
Rashad Evans has had a tough road to making his middleweight debut, but he will get another chance next month. He is reportedly set to return at UFC 209 in March, taking on 39-year-old Australian middleweight Dan Kelly. It will be Evans’ first fight at 185 lbs.
MMAFighting confirmed the matchup on Wednesday.
Evans has not fought since April of 2016, where he suffered a knockout loss to Glover Teixeira. The former light-heavyweight champion announced that he would be moving down to middleweight, and his debut was set for UFC 205 in New York in November against Tim Kennedy.
However, days before the event Evans was pulled from the card when the New York Athletic Commission refused to give him a license to fight after seeing an irregularity in his pre-fight MRI.
The fight between Evans and Kennedy was rescheduled for UFC 206 in Toronto, but the Ontario Athletic Commission followed New York’s lead and refused to grant Evans a license. Therefore, he was once again pulled from the fight. Evans has reportedly had the issue cleared up, however, and it will not impede him in his upcoming middleweight debut.
Kelly (12-1) has won three fights in a row and will be getting a massive bump in terms of recognition when he fights Evans. He has fought in Australia for the majority of his career, including his last UFC victory at UFC: Melbourne.
UFC 209 is headlined by a rematch between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson for the welterweight title. It takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on March 4.