Light heavyweight stalwarts Thiago Silva and Rashad Evans will serve as the main event this Saturday night at UFC 108 in Las Vegas. And while the two one-loss fighters may appear to be dissimilar, they are actually fighting for the same cause, to earn a rematch with UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. In order to get back to the top of the division, both men desperately need to win the fight, and Thiago Silva believes he has what it takes to get the job done.
“I learned a lot from that fight with Machida,” Silva recently told MMAjunkie.com. “I think I can correct the mistakes from that fight. I’m not overlooking anything else right now, but I just want to get the chance to fight him again.”
Silva noted that he made several mistakes in his initial outing with Machida, and has fixed the holes in his game.
“We learn with our mistakes, and I learned a lot with these mistakes,” Silva stated. “That was a big stage. This is my job, and this is one of my resolutions: be the least emotional I can be, and go there to perform a job and do my best, to be the best, and get a win and put myself on a track to be the champion.”
While Silva has one goal in mind, he knows that in order to accomplish it, he needs to win his fight with Evans this Saturday to get there.
“That’s what I want, is to compete against the best and be the champion. That’s what it is. A win against Rashad would put me in the track against Lyoto. That’s where I want to go.”
As to his game plan coming into the fight, Silva is well aware that despite Evans’s recent transition to more of a striking game, his base has been and always will be wrestling.
“The game plan is go there and fight the best fight,” Silva said. “Every opportunity that shows up there, I’m kind of the complete fighter that will be fighting on the ground and standup. Whatever shows up there, you know we’ve got to be ready for it.”
Aside from the obvious importance this fight has on both fighters’ careers, there is a little something brewing on the side to help peak the interest. After Silva handily defeated Evans’s good friend and training partner Keith Jardine at UFC 102, Evans claimed that Silva gave him a look that could mean only one thing, he was next. Silva though, denies that there was any intention to call out the former champ.
“There is no bad blood at all in our part,” Silva said. “This is my job. This is what I wanted to do. I want to fight the best. I want to be with the best. It’s good to fight Rashad because he’s one of the best in the world. There’s no bad blood at all on our side.”
Without focusing too much on Machida and overlooking Evans, Silva believes that what he learned from his loss to Machida will serve him in his effort to regain a shot at Machida’s belt.
“We learned from the fight with Machida to be a less emotional fighter,” Silva said. “When I watch that tape against Machida, I see the mistakes. And this time, I would change my style a lot for the last fight. I want to fight for the belt, that’s for sure. I want to be the champion.”
UFC 108 takes place this Saturday January 2, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. FightLine.com will provide live free coverage of the show this Saturday, as well as all the latest breaking news leading up to the event.