Rashad Evans’ middleweight debut has been delayed once again.
He was originally expected to face #12 ranked Tim Kennedy at UFC 205 in New York City earlier this month but was pulled from the fight when the New York State Athletic Commission didn’t issue him a license due to irregularities with his MRI. The bout was subsequently booked for UFC 206 in Toronto but has been cancelled once again for the same reason.
Kennedy broke the news on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour where he told Ariel Helwani that the fight was off.
“I think it’s brain damage,” said Kennedy when asked about why he thought Evans wasn’t issued a license by the commission in Ontario. “Welcome to the sport where we punch each other in the head.”
This raised questions about what the implications were for Evans’ MMA career and whether or not retirement was in the picture.
“When you have to back to back athletic commissions not issuing you a license, I don’t know what that means for Rashad,” he continued. “It’s a slippery slope moving forward for him and I reached out after I found out yesterday that we weren’t going to be fighting. First and foremost, when we went to New York, you know, it was a bummer I wasn’t fighting Rashad, I was excited to be on 205, but the first thing that went through my mind is ‘is Rashad OK?’”
Kennedy, a former training partner of Evans, said that the UFC is looking for a replacement opponent but nothing has been confirmed. One of the potential replacements, he said, is Kelvin Gastelum, who also was expected to fight at UFC 205 before badly missing weight.
UFC 206 takes place at the Air Canada Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on December 10 and will be headlined by a light-heavyweight title fight between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson.