Much has been made of Rashad Evans wrestling credentials and how he used them during his mixed martial arts career, but what some fail to realize is that his collegiate record is a mediocre 48-34 during his three years at Michigan State. Davis on the other hand has a superb record of 116-17. Will that translate for Davis when the two meet on January 28? “Mr. Wonderful” certainly thinks so.
“I don’t see how I wouldn’t have the advantage in wrestling,” a confident Davis stated in a conversation with Five Ounces of Pain. “When I say it like that it sounds cocky, but Rashad Evans’ wrestling record was barely over .500 while my record was well above that. Numbers can be misleading at times so I will give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m going to go ahead and say that I am probably the favorite as far as wrestling is concerned.”
The UFC has been trying to match Evans up with Jones for some time now and because of injuries to both men it just hasn’t come together. Dan Henderson recently staked his claim to the number one contender spot with a thrilling, Fight of the Year candidate with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 139. The assumption here is a win by Evans will finally see him face Jon Jones in a grudge match that could sell a million pay-per-views, but what happens if Davis walks away with his arm raised that night in light of Henderson’s recent success?
“I like to think that a win would put me in line for a title shot,” said a confident Davis. “At the end of the day let’s just see what a win over Rashad Evans in impressive fashion will mean for me. It kind of goes like this, if I beat him let’s find out what will happen, but if I don’t beat him I don’t really care either way. I’ve heard that I may or may not get a title shot if I win, but it doesn’t bother me. Winning will only point you in one direction and that’s up.”
Speaking of Jones, no one has yet to come close to figuring him out, yet Davis has seen a few things thus far he’s taken away and could utilize in the event that the two meet inside the Octagon in the near futur.
“Anyone who is going to beat Jones is going to need a first round that Machida had,” Davis explained. “He’s going to need a lot of things to go his way, but since no one has really done it it’s tough to say what is necessary to beat him. When someone defeats him then I can tell you what is needed to win. He has done very well for himself and will continue to do so.”
The UFC’s light heavyweight division has always been considered one of its deepest and until Jones defeated Machida at UFC 140 no one man had been able to defend the title more than once. In fact, before Jones three of the last four champions (Forrest Griffin, Evans, and Rua) were all unsuccessful in defending the title even a single time. So with the top five fighters at 205 constantly changing, who does Davis have on his personal list?
“To be 100% honest that’s a question that is tough for me to answer,” said a puzzled Davis. “Sometimes I catch myself following the sport, but not enough to know who’s in the top five. I would say Evans, Rampage, and Machida who are all former champions. Dan Henderson is up there, but after that I start drawing a blank.”
Many fighters are very confident and have no problem offering a prediction while other fighters have enough confidence in themselves without having to brag to anyone who will listen. Davis has been competing long enough to know that anything can happen, but he is the one who controls his own destiny.
“I do have a prediction, however I am not very descriptive,” offered Davis. “I’ve never been a very descriptive person ever since I was in school and had to write book reports. If I had to point out one of my faults it’s I lack detail. I definitely see this fight ending in a victory for me.
“I don’t really know how it will end and I’d rather not say,” Davis continued. “I don’t want to script an ending and say I am going to knock him out. That paints me into a corner. I am going to take what’s there, if a knockout is there I’ll take it, if a submission is available I’ll grab it. More than likely I’m going to take a win anyway that I can get it.”
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC