After months of injuries and card changes, UFC 108 finally takes place this Saturday, January 2nd. The main event pits former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans against Thiago Silva, who is coming off of a vicious first round TKO over Evans’ training partner Keith Jardine in August at UFC 102. Ready to get his UFC light heavyweight title back, Evans has notched wins over some big names in the division, including consecutive knockout victories over Chuck Liddell and then-champion Forrest Griffin. The Niagara Falls, New York native and former Michigan State University wrestler has won 18 of his 20 pro fights, including a draw against former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz. Despite his impressive record, Evans is not taking Silva lightly.
“Thiago’s a tough fight just because he’s so hungry right now,” Evans recently admitted. “He’s HUNGRY right now, and I’ve seen that after his last fight. It’s a lot of pressure for both of us because we both feel like we have something to prove.”
Evans admitted to being put off by the look that Silva gave him after the Jardine fight, saying, “He gave me that thing where he kind of sticks his jaw out, and that kind of pissed me off.”
A skilled grappler that has tremendous knockout power, Evans admitted to needing to rely on more than his hands to secure a victory over Silva.
“There’s something about taking somebody out with your hands,” admitted Evans. “You know, in just one punch it can be over for the rest of the night. So sometimes I standup when I shouldn’t be standing up. I should just work a little bit more of my game to not abandon what I normally do and do well.
“I think it goes along with a good game plan,” he continued. “You know, I can’t just go out there and try to be fast, you know? I’ve got to execute what I want to do and have a good reason for what I’m doing. I think when I start letting the hands go, he’s going to realize that this dude is kinda fast, and not only is he fast, he knows what to do with those hands too.”
Ready to get his UFC light heavyweight title back, Evans hopes that the fight will prove that he is at the top of the division that he once ruled.
“I think that I’m the best 205 pounder and I’m going to go out there and prove it” he concluded.
UFC 108 takes place this Saturday, January 2, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. As always, FightLine.com will be providing live round-by-round coverage of the event, as well as streaming video of the weigh-ins and the post-fight press conference.