Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans feels as though he has earned a different level of respect after years of competing inside the Octagon.

Evans, a former winner of The Ultimate Fighter, recently confirmed that he turned down a short-notice fight with Glover Teixeira for later this month in Brazil.

After catching plenty of heat for the decision, “Suga” took to Twitter to further explain his reason for saying no.

“I will fight anybody with the proper notice..But after 8 (years) with the UFC & being one of their top earners, (why) would I take a bad fight?” Evans posted on Twitter. “Bad fight meaning not being in shape. Losing is hard enough but I will never serve myself up! If I haven’t been training I won’t fight! I know a lot of u fans may not realize but I don’t walk around ready 2 fight. No one does. In this sport it takes at least 8 (weeks) 2 (be) ready!”

Evans is expected to return to action in early 2013, and is planning to remain at 205 pounds after some talk of a move to middleweight.

Photo credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting