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As Rashad Evans prepares to face Phil Davis at “UFC on Fox 2,” “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 2 winner hasn’t had any kind words for his opponent. Aside from the numerous barbs that have attacked Davis’ fighting ability and manhood, one of Evans’ finest verbal jabs came when he said that Davis is the lovechild of John Salley and Arsenio Hall. It’s clear that Evans has won the verbal battle, but there’s still a fight that needs to take place in the Octagon. Before Saturday’s showdown, Evans spoke to MTV Clutch about Davis’ “trash” abilities and how light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been purposefully avoiding him.
Thursday’s press conference found Phil Davis talking more trash than ever. Was that your master plan?
Phil is coming along in the trash talking game. He’s bringing it a little bit. I’ve got him talking a little bit more than he normally would.
You’ve pretty much trashed his wrestling ability. Is it really that bad?
When it comes to MMA, I don’t think his wrestling is as high level as everyone makes it out to be. They are making him look like a world champion, like he can make the Olympic team or something. Let’s be honest, I’ve wrestled with some wrestlers that are really on that level. His wrestling is trash compared to them. If you look at his takedown percentages, they aren’t that great. The last fight he got stuffed so much by a non-wrestler it was ridiculous. Everyone is all, “He’s a great college wrestler!” So what?
Let’s be honest, is Phil Davis ready?
I can’t say he’s not ready but he’s not ready to fight me. I’m sure he’ll be fine on this stage but I’m not a good style matchup for him. He relies on his wrestling. Granted, he may take me down in this fight but I’m not really worried about that because I can get back up. Can he keep taking me down? How many times can he get inside before he starts eating my shots. On his feet, you can see he doesn’t like getting hit. If you don’t like getting hit and you have a hard time taking somebody down, that’s not a good recipe.
So would it be dumb of him to consider standing and trading punches with you?
I think that he has to in order to get close. I think he’s around a bunch of people that have gassed him up and have him drinking the Kool-Aid, so he thinks his striking is pretty good.
We haven’t seen Phil really hurt anybody with his hands…
Phil can’t bust a grape with his hands. He punches with his hands open.
Obviously winning this fight will set you up for a title shot with Jon Jones, which could happen in April. How much do you think about that?
I’m just focusing on Phil. I can’t focus on Jon Jones. That fight has almost happened three times already. I can’t worry about that. I just have to go out there and continue to win fights. I don’t want to get my mind caught up on everything in between.
But do you think it’s funny that Jon came out and said he wants to fight in April?
Man, Jon is hoping that something happens so I can’t recover and he can catch me when I’m not ready. Jon tries to pretend like he’s so confident, but he’s not confident at all. If he was really confident he’d say, “If Rashad wins, I’ll wait until he’s healthy and ready to fight.” I only want to fight the best version of Jon Jones. He doesn’t really want to fight me.
I thought that was peculiar. Every time you get ready for a fight, he announces that he wants to fight two months after your fight to close the window of opportunity.
Right! And then he says that after he beat Machida he wanted a long break. Now he says he wants to fight in April because he knows I’m fighting in January. It’s the same thing he did when I was supposed to fight Phil in August. He fronted like he was getting thumb surgery so he couldn’t fight me, which he did not get. Then he hears I’m fighting in August and he says he wants to fight in September. I don’t know why but…well I do know why.