It appears Rashad Evans long wait to debut at middleweight has finally come to an end.
The former light heavyweight champion is expected to fight at 185-pounds for the first time when he takes on Australian judoka Dan Kelly at UFC 209 in Las Vegas.
Sources close to the matchup confirmed the bout to FOX Sports on Wednesday following an initial report from ESPN. UFC officials have not made any confirmation or announcement about the new fight yet.
It’s been a tough road for Evans to fight at middleweight after he was pulled out of UFC 205 in New York after the state athletic commission would not clear him to compete due to a medical issue that popped up during his pre-fight testing. Evans was then pulled from UFC 206 in Toronto due to the same issue.
A great day of training with these savages! No matter what we have been through we choose to stick together as a team. We don't need anything but each other. Each person pushing the other to bring out the best in that person. With @henrihooft and @coachgjones we will continue to grow as a Team. As my grandma use to say "One monkey don't stop a show"..@combatclubmma #UFC#team#family#rashadevans#henrihooft
Evans vowed to rectify the situation to make his return to action and now it looks like he’s ready to resume his career as he tries to push forward in the middleweight division after a highly successful career in the UFC that started back on “The Ultimate Fighter” season 2.
As for Kelly, the 39-year-old four-time Olympian has made an impressive run lately with three wins in a row, including victories over Chris Camozzi and Antonio Carlos Junior. Kelly will now take a massive step up in competition as he’s expected to face Evans at UFC 209 in Las Vegas.
UFC 209 is co-headlined by a pair of title fights as Tyron Woodley puts his welterweight title up for grabs against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson while Khabib Nurmagomedov battles Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight title as well.