Sources: Ex-champ Evans gets Checco in return

MMA

UFC Hall of Famer Rashad Evans is returning from retirement — and now his opponent is set.

Evans, the former UFC light heavyweight champion, will face Gabriel Checco on the Eagle FC United States debut card Jan. 28 in Miami, sources told ESPN on Wednesday night. Eagle FC is the MMA promotion owned by former UFC lightweight great Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Evans (19-8-1) retired following a loss to Anthony Smith at UFC 225 in June 2018. The Florida resident will try to snap a five-fight losing streak upon his return.

Evans, 42, was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2019. He won the second season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series in 2005 and went on to be the UFC light heavyweight champion from September 2008 to May 2009.

Checco (12-5), 35, has won two of his past three fights and is coming off a first-round TKO win over Simon Marini at XMMA 3 on Oct. 23. Two of his recent fights have come against current UFC fighters: a TKO loss to Jordan Wright on January 2020 and a knockout loss to Ian Heinisch in May 2018.

Eagle FC on Jan. 28 will be headlined by a heavyweight bout between kickboxing standout Tyrone Spong and longtime MMA veteran Sergei Kharitonov.

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