Weight cut is "question mark" for Evans

Is Rashad Evans willing to cut weight to go down to 185? Only if it is to fight for the title. Josh Hedges/Getty Images

The UFC middleweight landscape is wide open for a guy like Rashad Evans to make a run at Anderson Silva -- but that doesn’t guarantee he will.

Evans, who fights Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in a 205-pound bout at UFC 157, became an instant candidate to fight Silva over the weekend when Vitor Belfort knocked out Michael Bisping at a UFC on FX card in Brazil.

A former champion in the light heavyweight division, Evans (17-2-1) talked about a move to middleweight in 2012 but ultimately decided against it. His manager, Glenn Robinson, downplayed rumors of a move, saying he’d only do so to fight Silva.

That apparently hasn’t changed, as Evans said he wouldn’t force himself to drop another 20 pounds if it meant he’d be in the same position he’s currently in at 205.

“I guess if it was a title shot or against a really good, top contender where it would be something people would want to see, I would think about it,” Evans told ESPN.com.

“I’m already at the top of my division. For me to go down to 185, I’ve got to start over and prove myself. I’m good at 205, who’s to say I’d be the same fighter at 185?”

There’s been much speculation as to how difficult or easy a weight cut would be for Evans. Many fans point to his height of 5-foot-11 (well below average for a light heavyweight) and wonder: How hard could it be?

Evans, for one, believes it will be incredibly hard. The 33-year-old, who has competed at heavyweight, says it’s become harder to keep his weight down. His weight between fights has no trouble reaching over 230 pounds.

“It would be a lifestyle change,” Evans said. “I don’t look it because I’m short, but naturally my body goes to like 235 when I’m not consistently training. I would really have to change everything about my diet on a daily basis.

“It’s a big question mark for me. Once I moved past 30, my body started changing. It used to be real easy making 205, but now I’ve really got to focus and pay attention to what I put into my body.”

An immediate title shot for Evans in a weight class he’s never fought would likely not draw the same ire from fans that an April fight between Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones has.

Reason being that while it was widely perceived Sonnen talked his way into that opportunity, Evans is viewed as an elite light heavyweight who just happened to be unfortunate enough to run into the “Jon Jones era.”

Evans, for one, believes he could be the first man in the Octagon to hand Silva a loss, but it doesn’t sound as though he’s willing to put the strain on his body of making 185 unless he knows that’s on the table.

“He’s one of my favorite fighters to watch,” Evans said. “When my career is all said and done, I want to be able to say I competed against some of the best guys in history.

“To be able to say I went against the best guy and beat the best guy? I believe I can beat Anderson Silva. The skills I have are something he’d have a hard time dealing with.”