Rashad Evans plans to bring back defunct Blackzilians

    It looks like the Blackzilians could make a comeback.

    The defunct MMA team, who ceased operations in 2017, might return to the combat sports scene under the leadership of one of its main former members, UFC Hall of Famer Rashad Evans.

    In a recent interview with MMA Junkie Radio, Evans (19-8-1) revealed that he has plans already in the works to bring back his former team. No timetable for a return was revealed, but the former UFC light heavyweight champion feels confident it will happen.

    “Eventually the Blackzilians will be back,” Evans said. “I’m going to bring them back. I want that. I’m going to bring them back. I’m actually in the process of building it up right now, so we’ll see what happens. It’s time again.

    “I think that even just competing and everything that’s been going on in the last few years, it’s leading me toward that direction. I love to compete, but there’s just something different about coaching. I enjoy being a coach and being able to inspire those guys and get them to really dig deep and pull out the best of themselves.”

    Evans is one of the many notable names who trained at Blackzilians. From the start of their creation in 2011 to the time they closed shop, Blackzilians was home to Kamaru Usman, Gilbert Burns, Anthony Johnson, Vitor Belfort, Eddie Alvarez, Michael Johnson, and many others.

    It was founded in South Florida by Glenn Robinson, who died in 2018, and coached by Henri Hooft and Greg Jones. Both Hooft and Jones moved on to Sanford MMA, along with many the teams’ fighters.

    Evans has the fire to put the team back together. He not only wants to be responsible for the comeback, but wants to be the head coach.

    “I’ll definitely be a head coach and be part of the team, have ownership,” Evans said. “But at the same time, be a head coach and make sure those guys just get it. It’s not just physical. You can watch a fight, and people thinks it’s all physical, but when it comes down to it at a certain level, the physicality is part of it, but it’s more mental.

    “I beat a lot of guys that were better than me, but it’s just mentally being able to bring it and being able to have a coach that’s able to tap into their mindset of what it means to be a fighter. It’s really important.”

    Evans is currently scheduled to make a comeback to MMA competition at the end of the month. Evans retired in 2018 on the back of five consecutive defeats. The 42-year-old is set to compete at Eagle FC 44 on Jan. 28 against Gabriel Checco.

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