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Old 12-21-2008, 12:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ufc 92: Evans Aims To Silence The Doubters

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Most fighters will say that at least 70 or 80% of fight preparation is mentally being ready for the battle ahead. One shining example of a fighter who works to out-think his opponent before the cage door ever closes is No. 1 light heavyweight contender Rashad Evans, who is not only physically ready for his title shot against Forrest Griffin, but he's as mentally prepared as ever.

When the "Ultimate Fighter" season 2 winner stepped into his fight against Chuck Liddell most people were somehow counting him out before it even started. The Michigan native was happy to disappoint, as he landed a thunderous punch that put the "Iceman" out cold, giving him the win.

After the fight, Evans credited his coaching staff of Greg Jackson and Mike Winklejohn for coming up with the perfect strategy to beat Liddell. The next fighter to break down will be Forrest Griffin at UFC 92 on Dec. 27.

"We're working on a gameplan and going over it extensively, me and Coach Winklejohn and Greg Jackson. They see what I do well and they just capitalize on that and try to make me do what I would do, but just do it better and just add a few things here and there," Evans said recently during an appearance on MMAWeekly Radio.

He understands all to well that Griffin is a much different type of fighter than maybe anyone he's faced in the past. His fellow Ultimate Fighter champion is seen as a hard worker and sort of a "jack of all trades" when it comes to his MMA style.

"It can be more difficult in some areas because he's just so well rounded in all avenues, but it just means I have to step my game up another notch," Evans commented about his fight preparation. "He's definitely talented in all areas and he has a gas tank that can just keep going and going, so I welcome the challenge."

The camp at Greg Jackson's gym consists of the regular rogue's gallery of training partners including Keith Jardine, Nate Marquardt, Georges St. Pierre, Joey Villasenor, and Eliot Marshall. Still despite an undefeated record and an overall impressive fight resume, Evans will enter the Octagon on Saturday night as the decided underdog.

"I don't know if I like playing that role, but it's a role that I've gotten used to," he said about being the underdog in the fight. "I just learned not to pay it any mind. When you're playing a favorite, you fight from a different position. You're fighting from a position that everybody you're telling about the fight is talking about, 'awww man, I don't even know if I should wish you luck. I know you going to mop him up.' So that puts pressure on you in a different kind of way.

"But when you're the underdog it kind of puts pressure on you in the fact that you want to prove everybody wrong."

The biggest lesson that taught Evans how to battle out of that underdog role was his 2007 fight against Tito Ortiz. In the bout, Evans was admittedly giving too much respect to his opponent and not fighting his fight, which cost him early on. Now, he feels like he has the mental aspect of his game down as well.

"You can't get to the point where you make it such a mental game that saying, 'Oh I have to win this. This is my only chance. I'm never going to get another opportunity, another title shot.' I'd like to go in there and win the fight, but I'm going to go in there and compete, and if I go in there and compete to my best then the bi-product of that is going to be a win," said Evans. "If things aren't going in my favor, I can definitely climb that mountain again and enjoy the journey all the way up to the top once more."

With all the hard work and training winding down, Evans is simply happy to get back in the cage and fight again and with a win this time around, everyone will cease calling him "Rashad" or even "Mr. Evans." He will simply be "Champ."

"That's going to be the greatest feeling in the world. I can't lie," he stated. "To have that title, it just says that I put in the work and I reaped the reward for doing that work and it would just be an amazing feeling."
http://www.mmaweekly.com/absolutenm/...7820&zoneid=13
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Good luck Rashad but im praying Forrest works you over buddy. No offense to Rashad but he would make a terrible champ the dude has pretty much zero charisma. He has the skills to take this but im hoping Griffins reach, height and skill will just be too much for Rashad.
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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No offense to Rashad but he would make a terrible champ the dude has pretty much zero charisma.
Agreed.
Rashad Is very talanted, and I actually put my money on Evans & Wandy this upcoming Saturday but from a "Dana's business standpoint" he's horrible.
He's probably the most uncharismatic 205er In the UFC.
Atleast Jardine Is ugly.
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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He has no charisma? Maybe not to you guys because you can't relate with him. I, on the other hand, can say he has a ton of charisma because there's a lot I can relate to with him.

Also, (I'm not accusing you of anything) But if you started off hating someone, like from TUF2 when he was dancing on your boy Mike Whitehead, then it's hard to build up a.. well.. I dunno.. charismatic connection to the fighter because everything he does you'll take with a grain of salt.

I like his personality alot, and I find his fights exciting, and whenever he does an interview or all of that stuff, I'm sure to watch it and defend him from all the haters that he has.

I've never let him down and he's never let me down. And he's about to be champion.

And not to sound racist because.. whenever anything of race is brought up, but it's not like that I swear.

From a Dana's business point of view. Rashad can help bring in more black audiences because he's a down to earth regular black guy. Rampage is not, and believe it or not, but a lot of black people who don't watch MMA just hate him and call him a clown. They also don't know Anderson Silva and others, but it's harder to idenify with them because he's Brazilian and whatnot, although there is a connection. Randleman.. come on now. Rashad is like, the only real down to earth black guy from america who's about to champion, and that can help bring in a larger audience.
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How is he the underdog? Hes undefeated, has good wrestling, and decent KO power. Even though I'm rooting for Forrest, what does Griffen have that is an advantage over Evans?
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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War Rashad!!!!
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I guess you have to be a clown like Forrest or Rampage to have charisma.
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Rashad doesn't have charisma now? Oh man, I can't wait till he wrecks Forrest .
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Gutz View Post
How is he the underdog? Hes undefeated, has good wrestling, and decent KO power. Even though I'm rooting for Forrest, what does Griffen have that is an advantage over Evans?
Forrest has better subs, more technical stand up and possibly chin (although Rashad's is still kinda untested).
Rashad has better wrestling and KO power than Forrest.

Should be a good fight, but I don't like the idea of Rashad with the belt so I hope he gets choked out by Forrest. ^^

edit: Rashad is kinda charismatic, but still its pretty hard to sell his fights when he isn't fighting someone like Tito, Chuck or Forrest or rest of the card is just damn stacked.
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Spoken812 View Post
He has no charisma? Maybe not to you guys because you can't relate with him. I, on the other hand, can say he has a ton of charisma because there's a lot I can relate to with him.

Also, (I'm not accusing you of anything) But if you started off hating someone, like from TUF2 when he was dancing on your boy Mike Whitehead, then it's hard to build up a.. well.. I dunno.. charismatic connection to the fighter because everything he does you'll take with a grain of salt.

I like his personality alot, and I find his fights exciting, and whenever he does an interview or all of that stuff, I'm sure to watch it and defend him from all the haters that he has.

I've never let him down and he's never let me down. And he's about to be champion.

And not to sound racist because.. whenever anything of race is brought up, but it's not like that I swear.

From a Dana's business point of view. Rashad can help bring in more black audiences because he's a down to earth regular black guy. Rampage is not, and believe it or not, but a lot of black people who don't watch MMA just hate him and call him a clown. They also don't know Anderson Silva and others, but it's harder to idenify with them because he's Brazilian and whatnot, although there is a connection. Randleman.. come on now. Rashad is like, the only real down to earth black guy from america who's about to champion, and that can help bring in a larger audience.
Well you know what mr. spoken im as white as they come and im gonna go ahead and say.................War Rashad baby
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