MMA Rashad Evans interview on Machida, GSP, BJ, etc.

Discussion in 'OT Bar' started by Atmosphere, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. Atmosphere

    Atmosphere PURPLE DREAM

    Sep 17, 2002
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  2. chungalunga

    chungalunga New Member

    Aug 6, 2008
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    RASHAD EVANS: "I'm not one of the Machida naysayers"

    I thought he had an excellent performance. I'm not one of the Machida naysayers. I always felt that he had skills. We took flack for pretty much the same thing. He was called a boring fighter and so was I, but I think he's starting to come into his own and he's doing what he can do. He's dangerous. I'm starting to see this dude and I'm like, 'This guy is a lot better than we thought.' Now fighters are confused and they don't know what to do," stated UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans as he talked about top contender Lyoto Machida and a future match with him. Check out what else he had to say about Machida, GSP's win over BJ Penn and much more.

    PC: I haven't talked to you since the fight so I have to congratulate you on becoming the new light heavyweight champion.

    RE: Thank you. I appreciate it man.

    PC: You have come full circle from TUF to getting one of the greatest knockouts in UFC history to becoming champion. How does it feel man?

    RE: It feels good man. I kind of always hoped this would be my destiny and I could be one of the best fighters out there, but to have it come like this...I never really saw it as a reality and to have it happen is crazy.

    PC: Yeah, when I talked to you a couple of days before the fight, you said you couldn't believe you had made it this far and now, here you are as the champ.

    RE: It's like, "Did this really just happen?"

    PC: Has it sunk in yet that you're the champion?

    RE: No, not yet. At times, I look at how competitive this weight class is and I'm like, "The guy on top has his work cut out for him." And then its like, "Wait, that's me!" So in a sense, I don't think it's really hit me yet because I still think like that.

    PC: Your knockout of Forrest looked very similar to Jardine's. Both of you guys hurt him on the feet and then had a very high connect rate from his guard. Did you think you would be able to do that kind of damage in Forrest's guard?

    RE: You know what? I didn't think he was going to be like that. He's pretty good on the ground. I was surprised he was so vulnerable on the ground. I attribute that to him being a little bit out of it when he hit the ground. When I hit him, he went limp so I thought he would be knocked out so that's why I jumped on him and started hitting my hammer fist right away. Having success in his guard was not something I anticipated, but when I felt it, I was like, "Ah man, I know he's not sitting up here and letting me hit him like this?" Right then, I knew he was in trouble.

    PC: Most people thought you would be at a disadvantage the longer the fight went, but that wasn't the case. It appeared Forrest was gassing a little. What was your gameplan going in?

    RE: My plan was to just be willing to take this fight wherever it needed to go. My corner did a great job of putting it in my head that not one particular area was going to determine the winner of the fight. So I was ready for everything. If I had to do anything differently in that fight, I probably would have mixed it up a little bit more and maybe I would have tried to take him down in the 2nd or 3rd just to keep things fresh. I kind of got in a position where it was a contest. Kind of like, "Oh, you think your standup is better than mine?" For the 1st few rounds…well, in the 2nd round, he kind of had my timing down and that's why I should've attempted a takedown just to reset things and get it going again. He had my timing down well and it was frustrating me in that 2nd round. When you make it through something like that and you get comfortable with the punches…at the end of the 2nd round, he caught me with a good right hand and my position was bad and he caught me in the eye. I was like, "Ah man, now I'm fighting with one eye."

    PC: Yeah, he caught you with a Superman punch, huh?

    RE: Yeah! A Superman punch! Can you believe it? Everybody in my camp throws Superman punches. GSP got the best Superman punch in town and you see it coming, but hey, I thought I could see a Superman punch better than anybody so to get caught with a Superman punch after I see it every day in practice was kind of embarrassing.

    PC: When you got hit with that shot, I immediately said how underrated your chin is.

    RE: Yeah, you know what (laughing), I don't know where it comes from man. I'm just blessed to have it. It's something that I'm very thankful for because I get cracked sometimes and I just keep moving.

    PC: Once again, some people got upset with your gesture during the Forrest fight, but I saw an interview where you said you and Forrest were going back and forth all night.

    RE: Yeah! It felt like a sparring session. It felt like I went to Couture's gym and I got to spar Forrest for the 1st time. It was just that kind of feel through the whole fight. That's why, right after the fight was over, he came over and gave me props right away because it really felt like a sparring session. Sometimes, when you're sparring one of your good friends, you make it like play. It's like he did something good to me and I'll nod or give him a sign and when I did something good to him, he may smile or shrug or whatever.

    PC: People have to understand that even though it's a fight, it's your job and you have to make your job fun because no one wants to be miserable at work. In other words, you couldn't tell me how I should act the first time I interview you or Liddell or anybody else so I can't tell you how to react or conduct yourself in combat or after a huge win or knockout.

    RE: Before this is a job and before this is entertainment for the fans, it's love. It's the love that I have for the sport; that's the only reason I compete. Having that love is what keeps you fighting because the money eventually loses it lure of motivation. It's just not the same, you know? When you fight for love, you could fight a lot longer then when you're fighting for money.

    PC: You're not the hunter anymore; you're more like the hunted. Lyoto Machida made it clear he's gunning for you and your title. What did you think of his UFC 94 performance?

    RE: I thought he had an excellent performance. I'm not one of the Machida naysayers. I always felt that he had skills. We took flack for pretty much the same thing. He was called a boring fighter and so was I, but I think he's starting to come into his own and he's doing what he can do. He's dangerous. I'm starting to see this dude and I'm like, "This guy is a lot better than we thought." Now fighters are confused and they don't know what to do.

    PC: I see you've adopted the fangs on your mouthguard. What prompted that? Is that some kind of statement?

    RE: It symbolizes hunger. It's just like the predators have fangs; that's how I feel going into the fights. I'm a predator to get that win and I'm hungry for it. The fangs symbolize the hunger.

    PC: You're not the biggest 205 pounder, but you have huge thighs. Rampage says that's where his power comes from. Is that the case with you as well?

    RE: Yeah, that's where all of my power comes from. From the waist up, I'm a welterweight, but from the legs down, I'm definitely a light heavy or heavyweight. That's where all of my weight is at. If you have the strong legs and that strong core, you could hit like crazy. You look at Fedor. His upper body is not big at all, but his legs and mid-section are strong!

    PC: On paper, I started looking at Jon Jones' unorthodox standup and wrestling and thought that he could do to Stephan what you did to him. How impressed are you with the 21-year-old?

    RE: Ah man, I was very impressed. And he has that 21-year-old energy too. That dude went out there and tried everything he learned and you rarely see a fighter do that. He just went out there and threw the kitchen sink at him and he caught him with the whole sink.

    PC: I saw you on one of Dana's blogs and a lot of people may not have picked up on it, but I know how big of a Mike Tyson fan you are. Man, you looked like a kid in the candy store when you met him?

    RE: Ah man! You know how when you meet somebody famous, how you got this gangsta kind of thing going. Not really gangsta, but like that "I'm not really impressed" attitude. No matter who they are, I'm usually like, "Okay, whatever!" I act like I met them like 10 times before. But when I met Mike Tyson, I couldn't help myself. I watch this dudes videos all the time. I was watching his video before I went to that event. I always watch Tyson.

    PC: You were touching him and shit like, "Man, this is Mike!"

    RE: I was? Ah man, I want to see the clip because I haven't seen it yet. I was touching him like, "Is this Tyson?"

    PC: Yeah, you shook his hand and I think he was going to shake Rampage's hand and you had your hand on his shoulder and were just looking at him.

    RE: Ah man (laughing). I was like, "Man!" I couldn't believe my eyes. That's when it comes to you and you realize what you're doing in life. Moments like that show you how far you have come in life and how different your life is now. This is something I used to imagine. I'm standing in a room with Mike Tyson; somebody I grew up watching on TV. It was just a few years ago where I was mesmerized by him and I never thought I would be in the same room as him. It's crazy just to know that…that's how big this sport has gotten. Being in this sport when it wasn't that poppin' and now it's like Mike Tyson is watching and he knows who I'm fighting. He knows who I'm fighting.

    PC: I know you're a huge Shane Mosley fan as well. What did you think of his win against Margarito?

    RE: You know what? I didn't get to see it. I tell you what, I love "Sugar" Shane man and I feel bad I doubted him. I feel bad I doubted him. I didn't think Shane should take that fight because I thought he was too small and maybe a little too old, but I feel bad I doubted my boy. I feel bad I did that, but I'm glad he proved me wrong. I have it on HBO demand though. I'm going to have to go watch it.

    PC: You train with GSP my man. What is it that makes him so good in your mind?

    RE: All things. And by that, I mean he does the things that you think about. Like I may say, "Man, you know what will bring me to the next level is if I did this every single day." Instead of just saying it, thinking it or doing it sporadically, he will do it every day. You do little things like that all of the time, you start to chip away at becoming the best you could be and then, pretty soon, the gap between you and the guy that's behind you is so far, it sneaks up on you. It's like, "I didn't even know I was this far ahead of the competition." He does all of the little things. He hangs out and has a good time, but he doesn't party and use hard drugs. He takes care of his body and he respects his body. He doesn't overindulge in too much of anything. He has fun after his fights. He will probably hang out for maybe 3 or 4 days and next thing you know, he's in Brazil or New York City with Phil Nurse; somewhere learning.

    PC: What did you think of his performance over BJ?

    RE: Honestly, I knew it was going to be like that man. I kind of felt bad because BJ…I love BJ Penn man. BJ Penn is probably my favorite fighter. He pitted himself in an awkward corner. He came out of character because the person you saw on those countdown shows, that's not BJ at all. BJ is the kind of dude that shows you so much love. BJ is one of those people that when he asks you how you're doing, he really wants to know how you're doing. He's not saying it as a conversation piece. He looks you in your eyes and gives you a hug when he greets you. He shows that kind of love and respect. So to see him like that, maybe that's why he was a little bit cloudy because he knows he really wasn't true to himself the whole time. It may have taken a lot out of him mentally. It's tough to go in there knowing you weren't true to yourself from the beginning.

    PC: It's funny that you say that because you get flack for having this certain swagger and being a certain way in the cage, but I credit you because that's just you.

    RE: You know what? The worst fight I ever had in the UFC was when I wasn't being myself. I didn't understand till the people I had close to me told me and then I got it. I understand. It takes awhile for you to understand yourself. My character when I get inside of the Octagon is very confident. I'm very, very confident. Even though I may be nervous or wondering what's going to happen, what I try to do is say, 'You know what? I'm going to enjoy myself." It could all be over tomorrow. This could be my very last fight and then you have to ask yourself, "How do I want people to remember me?" Whether I win or lose, I want to go out there and put on a show and that's what I think. I want to enjoy it. It's a fight and you're serious. It can end in dramatic fashion or with you having a serious injury, but for the most part, it's fun. I do this every single day. The only difference is I do this in front of millions of people a few times a year.

    PC: That's what I told one of the people I was with while watching your fight with Forrest. Who are we to sit behind our desktops or TV monitors and say how a guy is supposed to react to an accomplishment? Barry Sanders handed the referee the ball after touchdowns, Terrell Davis saluted and Deion Sanders wanted everyone to see what he did. Different personalities bring on different reactions and celebrations, you know?

    RE: People just look for things to knock me about because I had the reputation that I was flashy, flamboyant or that I showboat. No matter what I do, it's, "Oh my God, did you see the way he looked into the camera? He looked into the camera like he was trying to say something. He thinks he's the shit!" They were saying I was trying to look like I wasn't impressed that I knocked out Chuck and that I started doing a stupid dance. But if I was Chuck Liddell and I had knocked out Rashad Evans, I'm going to spread my arms and run around the cage and he's not going to check on nobody. I watched him knock out Randy Couture and he didn't check on Randy. He was running around the cage. Another thing, when I knocked out Chuck, they didn't know Chuck's status. They thought Chuck was dead so the guy in the control room moved the camera away from Chuck and told me to go on the other side of the Octagon. Every time I tried to go over there, they moved me away because Chuck hadn't woke up yet and they didn't want that on the camera. It's combat man. What am I supposed to do when I'm in there with a dude that's trying to kill me too?

    PC: My last question for you my man is like I said, you're the hunted now. How do you not get complacent and continue to do the things that landed you this title?

    RE: To me, I don't look at the title as a destination. To me, it's more of a journey that's in the process. I'm still making a dream come true. I want to see how many times I could defend the belt. When you think you've made it to the top, there's only one place to go from there and that's down and I'm not going to get caught in that trap. But I'm not afraid to lose and I'm not going to start fighting safe. If I lose, fuck it, I lose, but I'm not going to start fighting scared or not go hard trying not to lose. If I lose, I'm supposed to lose and that's just the way it is.

    PC: Good luck this year my man. I wish you the best. Whether it's Machida or not, I'm sure it will be exciting. Is there anything you want to say in closing?

    RE: I just want to thank everybody for supporting MMA man. They may not be a Rashad Evans fan, but as long as they support MMA and the UFC, they're helping me out
  3. dragomungus

    dragomungus New Member

    Apr 27, 2008
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