Many people see Rashad Evans’ next opponent as a younger version of himself, a supremely athletic fighter with a stout collegiate wrestling pedigree on which he’s added submission and striking skills. The difference, in Evans’ eyes at least, is that he’s much further along than his opponent in terms of supplementing those wrestling skills.
Speaking with FightHype recently, Evans asserted that Davis’ gameplan will be wrestling-oriented; so sure is he, that he told FightHype he’d be willing to wager a bet his opponent will shoot for the first takedown.
“I’ll bet anything he’ll definitely be the first to shoot in on me,” Evans said. “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.”
Evans is quick to praise his opponent for his wrestling skills, but also points out that a great grappling acumen doesn’t necessarily translate completely into mixed martial arts.
“I expect it to be a stand up 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 stand up department is probably going to take over the fight,” he said. “I think that Phil has a great pedigree in wrestling, but this is MMA, and MMA and wrestling are not the same.”
Evans and Davis will meet in the main event of UFC on Fox 2, which takes place on January 28 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.