Evans, Davis clash verbally before Saturday fight
CHICAGO – The Windy City got a rare January thunder and lightning storm late Sunday night, which perhaps was appropriate to start fight week for UFC on Fox: Evans vs. Davis – the main event fighters have already started bringing the fireworks.
Rashad Evans and Phil Davis started their verbal sparring on Dec. 7 at the United Center in Chicago, site of their Saturday light heavyweight fight on Fox. On Friday, they riled each other up a little more on a conference call with members of the media – no doubt a preview of what may be coming this week at Thursday's pre-fight press conference and Friday's official weigh-ins.
Once in the Octagon on Saturday night, Evans, a former 205-pound champion who is no stranger to promises of title shots, will be a nearly 2-to-1 favorite over Davis. And once again, Evans has been told that a win will get him a shot at his former friend and training partner Jon Jones. But he said he knows that all becomes moot if he is upset by Davis.
"When it comes down to it, this is my title fight right here," Evans (16-1-1, 11-1-1 UFC) said. "I can't look past Phil in any shape or form. The Jon Jones talk and what could potentially happen if I win this fight, it really doesn't matter. Everything is contingent on my fight (with Davis), so that's all I'm thinking about."
Davis (9-0, 5-0) hasn't been given the same title shot promise if he upsets Evans. The consensus opinion is that an Evans win with him getting out without much damage will result in a shot at Jones at UFC 145 on April 21. But a Davis win probably means Dan Henderson will fight Jones, instead. And Davis has no problem with that.
"After I beat Rashad on the 28th, they won't have anything else to do with me," Davis said. "Rashad is the true No. 1 contender, and after I beat him they won't have anything else for me other than to fight for the title. That works perfectly into my plans. I take a little rest, Hendo fights for the title. Whatever happens after that, cool – I'm up next."
But that set off some fireworks over the last three minutes of the media call, with Evans and Davis going back and forth – much the same way Evans and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson did a year and a half ago.
"You ain't beatin' me, dog," Evans said to Davis. "It can't get here fast enough, 'cause I'm smashin' you. He ain't ready. He knows he ain't ready. You're just a boy. We're going to see what happens when those lights hit you and you walk out and the crowd is roaring. We're going to see what kind of man you are and what kind of fighter you are. When you got hit in the mouth by (Antonio Rogerio Nogueira), you didn't know what to do. When I hit you in the mouth, you're going to feel it.
"There's some people that would fight if they weren't getting paid to fight. I'm one of those guys, Phil is not."
And Davis, naturally, had a rebuttal for the claim he wasn't a fighter.
"I'd be pushing a pen, but since I get paid to fight, I guess you're next," Davis said. "When I'm on top of you, I'm going to be reminding you with every shot."
Evans and Davis fight in the main event of the first official UFC on Fox card under the seven-year UFC-Fox network broadcasting deal Saturday at the United Center. The main card starts at 8 p.m. Eastern and features a tripleheader with Evans-Davis, Chael Sonnen-Michael Bisping and Demian Maia-Chris Weidman.