Rashad Evans licensed for middleweight debut against Daniel Kelly

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans has been licensed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, clearing the way for a middleweight fight against Daniel Kelly on March 4.

UFC officials confirmed Tuesday to ESPN.com that bout agreements are in place for the 185-pound contest, which will take place at UFC 209 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

For Evans (19-5-1), the fight will mark a middleweight debut that has been postponed twice. He was originally scheduled to fight Tim Kennedy at UFC 205 on Nov. 12 in New York, but the bout fell through when Evans failed to receive medical clearance from the New York State Athletic Commission.

The UFC rescheduled the Kennedy fight to UFC 206 on Dec. 10 in Toronto; however the Ontario Athletic Commission followed the NYSAC's lead and also denied Evans a license.

On Tuesday, the NSAC approved Evans' license application. NSAC executive director Bob Bennett said physicians "thoroughly reviewed" Evans' medical documents prior to his approval.

Kelly (12-1) is a former Australian Olympian in judo. He is currently on a three-fight win streak.

A welterweight title fight between Tyron Woodley (16-3-1) and Stephen Thompson (13-1-1) is scheduled to headline UFC 209.