Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans reported that there were “irregular findings” in an MRI administered on October 19. The NYSAC directed him to take further tests, which the fighter reports that he passed. However, the New York State Athletic Commission made the decision to keep Rashad Evans out of his UFC 205 middleweight fight with Tim Kennedy as a precautionary measure.
Both fighters received their show money, and the fight was rescheduled to UFC 206 on December 10, in Toronto, Ontario. Unfortunately, it has happened again.
Today Tim Kennedy appeared on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour and reported that the Office of the Athletics Commission in Ontario stopped Evans from getting a license to fight.
“He’s fine, guys,” said his manager Ali Abdel-Aziz to MMA Fighting. “Rashad is fine. There’s nothing wrong with him.”
Abdel-Aziz said the Ontario commission is hyper careful and reports they “don’t even like MMA.” The manager says the UFC is working to get Evans on a card early on 2017.
The UFC offered a statement that was less definitive.
“UFC has been notified by the Ontario Athletic Commission that it has declined to approve a license for middleweight Rashad Evans, based on the recent medical issue that prohibited him from competing at UFC 205 in New York City,” read the statement. “As a result, Evans’ rescheduled bout against Tim Kennedy, set for UFC 206 in Toronto on Saturday, December 10, has subsequently been canceled.”
“The UFC organization takes the health and safety of all athletes competing under the UFC banner very seriously and has encouraged Evans to take all the appropriate time to consult with his physicians and properly evaluate his medical status prior to scheduling any future bouts.”
The fighter himself responded on his social network.
“Despite the latest news on not getting a license to fight in Toronto, I am 100% healthy,” he wrote. “I will not retire. Thank yuh for the support. The UFC have been very helpful with making sure I am ok and getting this cleared up. I apologize to Tim Kennedy for the inconvenience.”
After New York declined to license Evans, they issued a statement noting that no details of the medical condition in question will be released.
“Mr. Evans’ license application was denied for medical reasons based upon Commission policies that are designed to protect the health and safety of professional combatants in New York State,” read the statement. “Due to confidentiality and privacy laws, the Commission will not comment further.”
The Ontario commission issued a similar statement earlier today.
“The Office of the Athletics Commissioner is responsible for upholding medical requirements, which are put in place to protect the safety of contestants,” they wrote. “In regards to the UFC 206 event on December 10, Mr. Evans has not cleared Ontario’s medical licensing requirements. We can confirm that his proposed bout has not been approved but are unable to comment further on his private and confidential medical information.”
While there is fan curiosity about Evans’ medical condition, unless the fighter himself reports it, it will remain private.
And as for Kennedy, he presses on.