If Rashad Evans’ recent dismissal of Phil Davis’ wrestling ability implied the former light heavyweight champion will be taking the NCAA All-American lightly when they lock horns tonight on FOX, it turns out that viewpoint couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only has Evans prepared for the UFC on FOX 2 main event with intensity and focus but he also understands the position Davis is in because he himself filled the same shoes a few years back.
“If you go in there and you just think that you’re experienced and you’re gonna use that alone to take the young buck out, you might find yourself sitting down and being upset because if he’s got that raw talent and he’s hungry, that could get him the win,” explained Evans in an interview with the UFC’s website.
“You gotta be hungry and try to match that intensity…I know Phil is preparing for the fight of his life and he’s got everything to gain in this situation. This is his coming out party,” the TUF winner continued. “So I really got to go in there and beat him mentally first. I’ve got to think like I’m fighting me. I’ve got to tap into that feeling I had when I fought my big fight against Chuck Liddell or Tito Ortiz or ‘Rampage’ (Quinton Jackson), which was ‘This is my moment to shine.’ If I go in there thinking I’ve got something to keep away from him, its not gonna be a good fight for me. I’m going in and I’m gonna hunt for him. I’m trying to take something he’s got.”
The 16-1-1 Evans, who expressed his interest in being remembered forever based on his accomplishments in the Octagon, closed the topic out with a revealing glimpse into his work ethic and approach to MMA, saying, “I never want to get content. I never want to think that I’m at a certain spot and I’m gonna stay there, because this organization’s hard to stay in, and this is the wrong place to get complacent in. You’ve got so many guys coming up and putting in work, and everybody wants to be in my position, so I gotta be paranoid and think that if I’m not producing, if I’m not going out there and winning fights and winning impressively, I’m gonna be replaced. And I don’t like that and that’s not an easy feeling for me, so I try to do everything in my power to make sure that does not happen.”
Catch Evans-Davis tonight on FOX at 8:00 PM EST with preliminary pairings on Fuel TV/Facebook starting at 5:00 PM EST.