by Dane McGuire
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Eagle FC will soon feature UFC Hall of Fame member Rashad Evans, who will come out of retirement to compete on January 28.
While an opponent for Evans has not been named as of yet for what is expected to be a light heavyweight bout, a promotion official confirmed the news to MMA Junkie after an initial report from Yahoo Sports.
Evans has served as a desk analyst for UFC events while in retirement, being honored with his Hall of Fame induction in 2019.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion last faced Anthony Smith on June 9, 2018, at UFC 225, a 53-second knockout loss.
Evans went 2-7 in nine fights from 2012 through 2018 and was on a five-fight skid before retiring.
Evans’ opponent will be 11-5-0 Legacy Fighting Alliance veteran Gabriel Checco. Checoo is coming off of a KO/TKO victory in October, a fight that lasted just 2:45. The win was Checco’s first since 2016.
The January 28 bout will be a part of Eagle FC’s U.S. debut event in Miami at O2 Arena. The card is set to be headlined by heavyweights Tyrone Spong and Sergei Kharitonov.
In related Eagle FC news, not only has the promotion signed former UFC lightweight Kevin Lee, but Eagle FC will also feature the addition of the much-debated 165-pound weight division.
“It’s going to be big news for a lot of fighters around the world,” Nurmagomedov told ESPN earlier in December. “I know a lot of fighters want 165. A lot of fighters can’t make 155 and they are a little small at 170.
“Honestly, this is not only about Kevin Lee. This is about a lot of fighters. I know because when I was a fighter, how I was feeling in there and I was talking with a lot of fighters around the world, they were asking, ‘Why other promotions — UFC, Bellator, PFL — why they not make 165?'”
Nurmagomedov purchased Eagle FC in 2020 and ‘The Eagle’ expects global expansion.
“I have so much knowledge and I can share my knowledge with a lot of people,” Nurmagomedov said. “I can make comfortable position for a lot of fighters around the world. Right now, we are going to create a new system. You guys will know very soon about this platform, where fighters will be happy. More happy than they’ve been with other organizations. Nothing against our big brothers, but this business have to move on.”