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There’s no class or seminar for being champion. You either accept it or face a bumpy ride. Life changes completely, and there’s no break.

UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans got a first taste of fame after appearing on the second season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” though the attention wasn’t always positive. Some fans branded him a “showboater,” and met his wrestling-based style with suspicion. He always seemed to be fighting for acceptance.

Prior to “TUF,” Evans fought on the California circuit, slugging it out with other fighters paying their dues. Pay was low, and recognition was a pat on the back. Microsoft was a long ways away.

In December, he dealt critics their greatest blow with a TKO victory over Forrest Griffin, and the spotlight heated up. There aren’t as many haters as before, but everyone is watching.

“It’s been pretty good, man,” Evans says of life since the belt. “My life is… actually… excellent.”

Then, a heavy pause.

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