"Suga," a former light heavyweight champion who strung together two big back-to-back wins to earn the opportunity to reclaim his belt, would challenge newly-minted title holder Mauricio Rua at a future date and time.
However, "Shogun" had to undergo knee surgery, as well as extensive rehabilitation, which would keep him out of action for several months at least. Evans had to decide whether or not he wanted to stay busy, and possibly lose his place at the front of the line, or stay put and ride out the Brazilian's open-ended recovery.
He chose the latter. And as a result, here we are 15 months later ready to watch him rematch Tito Ortiz -- a man who just won his first fight in nearly five years just last month -- in the UFC 133 main event.
Meanwhile, Jon Jones stepped up on short notice to replace Evans, who tweaked his knee a few weeks before he was finally set to meet Rua at UFC 128 earlier this year, and is now the reigning division champion. And the man who Evans defeated to earn the top contender spot, Jackson, is currently slated to challenge Jones in his first-ever title defense at UFC 135 later this year.
Evans has had to endure a bizarre sequence of events as he prepares to step inside the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa., this Saturday night (Aug. 6, 2011) to say the least. Oddly enough, it's not completely out of the ordinary -- he seems to have a knack for attracting controversy and/or drama before, during and after his fights.
It even follows him when he's sitting on the sidelines.
Today, we sift through all the ups, downs, twists and turns that have defined Evans' professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career to date as he prepares to take on "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" in the "City of Brotherly Love" in just a few short days. Let's travel back in time and check out his top five best and worst fights.