"I'll bet anything he'll definitely be the first to shoot in on me. I just think that's where he wants to take the fight. I think that's where he thinks his game works best at. I don't think he's going to try and bang with me. I definitely believe he's going to try and take me down...I expect it to be a standup fight for the most part. I think it's going to be a war of attrition. The guy who comes in the best shape and the guy who has the edge in the standup department is probably going to take over the fight. I think that Phil has a great pedigree in wrestling, but this is MMA, and MMA and wrestling are not the same," stated former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, who talked about his upcoming January 28 debut on UFC on FOX when the takes on the undefeated Phil Davis. Check out what else he had to say!
PC: How is everything going my man?
RE: Everything going good man. I'm just getting ready for this fight, you know?
PC: For sure bruh. This is your debut on FOX on January 28th. How do you feel being on network television and are you treating this fight any different because of it?
RE: You always wanna perform well in any fight that you have. This is definitely a big fight, but at the same time, you don't get ahead of yourself and start putting pressure on yourself. I've been in a few big fights, so it's not overwhelming at all. I think I fight better when the pressure is on.
PC: Before we even talk about Phil Davis, how is your hand and are you back to full training with it now?
RE: Yeah, the injury is 100% healed. I'm going full out in training. I'm going hard. I'm going out and bringing in some good training partners to make me raise my level. I'm definitely going at it and the hand is not an issue at all.
PC: You only had one fight this year. How do you feel in the gym? Do you feel fluent in there or do you feel a bit of rust because of it?
RE: I feel like I'm picking up where I left off for the Tito Ortiz camp. I did sit out because I wasn't able to work out too much because of my hand, but at the same time, my body is still firing. My body feels good because I'm still doing a lot of things that I was doing for the Tito fight. It's carrying over now that I'm fighting Phil Davis, so I think that I'm clicking on all cylinders.
PC: This is a Big 10 rivalry between you two guys; Penn State against Michigan State...
RE: (Cutting in) Yeah, I'm approaching this fight as Phil Davis is trying to make a big name for himself off of me because a lot of people don't know who Phil Davis is. I know he's coming with that mindset as spoiler, so I'm just going to go in there and show the world why I should be fighting for the title and why I'm the #1 contender and why I am the best light heavyweight in the division.
PC: You used to see it in boxing a lot where guys would bet a percentage of their purse on a knockout or not being knocked out. You seem to really believe that Phil Davis will shoot in on you first. Are you willing to place a side bet on that?
RE: Yeah, I'll bet anything, dog (laughing). I'll bet anything he'll definitely be the first to shoot in on me. I just think that's where he wants to take the fight. I think that's where he thinks his game works best at. I don't think he's going to try and bang with me. I definitely believe he's going to try and take me down.
PC: We've seen your offensive wrestling recently, but we haven't really seen your defensive wrestling ability because you haven't faced anyone that was just trying to shoot on you like that. In this fight, I'm sure you will have to use some of your defensive wrestling abilities to get this fight where you want it.
RE: It's all pretty much the same. When you're an offensive-minded wrestler, it translates to being defensive-minded as well because you know what it takes for you to get a shot. So I know where to move and where to circle and things I should do when I'm fighting somebody who is looking for the takedown or has the ability to take me down. I don't stand around too much and do things that a wrestler is looking for me to do.
PC: When we see two guys with a wrestling background, fans immediately think it will be a boring wrestling match, but usually your strengths cancel each other out and it's a standup fight. What kind of fight are you expecting from Phil?
RE: Yeah, I expect it to be a standup fight for the most part. I think it's going to be a war of attrition. The guy who comes in the best shape and the guy who has the edge in the standup department is probably going to take over the fight. I think that Phil has a great pedigree in wrestling, but this is MMA, and MMA and wrestling are not the same. There are differences when it comes to going for a takedown and transitioning into punches and takedowns; there is a big difference there and if you don't transition well into that, it doesn't matter if you are a 3-time world champion, if you don't have all aspects of the game, you won't be taking anybody down.
PC: Are you still training with Keith Jardine and Georges St. Pierre or have you not worked with them since you left Greg Jackson's?
RE: I haven't worked with Keith and GSP in a while, but Nate Marquardt just left the gym. I still keep my ties with those dudes. It's nothing personal. One thing about those guys, they are all professional and they know the coaching situation and the situation that happened with Jon Jones. That's not me and they don't really get involved in that, and that's cool because they really shouldn't, to be honest. It's a situation that went bad and now I'm in a new situation and if they can help me, they will.
PC: Jon Jones was successful in his title defense against Lyoto Machida. I know you're not overlooking Phil Davis, but the end goal is to not only get that title back, but fight a guy you have wanted to fight for a while now, right?
RE: Yeah! When I'm in this sport, I want to fight the best and right now, they are saying Jon Jones is the best and that nobody can beat him, so I definitely want to go in there and do my thing against Phil so I can do my thing against Jon. I know I got the style to do that and to give Jon problems, which is what a lot of people haven't been able to do. I'm working hard and I wanna go out there and fight as hard as I can and take gains and leaps from all of my training camps to help me in all of the rest of my fights.
PC: Best of luck to you on the 28th of January and in the year 2012. Is there anything you want to say before I let you go my man?
RE: I just want to thank my teammates and everything, and all of the training partners that came out to help me out for this training camp. Shout out to the Blackzilians and my clothing sponsor, Jaco.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]