Rashad Evans may have had Lyoto Machida in mind as an ideal opponent for his return to the Octagon, but he will instead square off with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
MMAWeekly.com sources confirmed that Evans vs. Nogueira has been verbally agreed to and is being targeted for the UFC’s Super Bowl weekend pay-per-view on Feb. 2, 2013. The bout was first reported by Brazilian news site SporTV.
Evans (17-2-1) hasn’t set foot in the Octagon since he lost to current UFC light heavyweight champion and former teammate Jon Jones at UFC 145 in April.
Evans knows that he’ll have to fight his way back into a position to challenge for the belt again, but his intention is to remain in the 205-pound division.
“I want to be at light heavyweight because there is unfinished business. I can’t go down unless something really beckons for my calling. I like to fight at 205 and I have done fairly well there,” Evans told UFC Tonight recently, citing his desire to avenge a loss to Machida.
Nogueira (20-5) enters the fight with a win over UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz at UFC 140 in December of last year. He had planned to get back in the Octagon at UFC on Fuel TV 2 in April, but has been on the sidelines nursing a knee injury.
The Super Bowl weekend event is likely to be dubbed UFC 157, but promotion officials have yet to verify its numbering.
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