by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
While there is definitely never an easy road for any MMA fighter, many fans and critics have felt that a lot of the winners from the various Ultimate Fighter seasons have had a smooth ride through their first couple of UFC fights. However, that is not the case with season two heavyweight winner turned light heavyweight Rashad Evans, who will face Stephan Bonnar tonight at Ultimate Fight Night in his second bout since winning the TUF competition.
As Evans prepared for his upcoming match-up with Bonnar, he focused on how he can take on his much taller opponent and what he needs to do to win this crucial light heavyweight fight.
“Well, I was in Albuquerque mostly training for this fight,” said Evans. “Working a lot on the ground, and [getting] help working on getting inside because he is so much taller than me. I’ve just been doing a lot of things on the ground.”
After a tough run through The Ultimate Fighter 2, a finale match-up with Brad Imes, and a close split decision victory over Sam Hoger in April, Rashad Evans has never been one to back down from a challenge, and it will be no different when he steps in to take on Stephan Bonnar, who is considered one of the best up-and-coming 205-pound fighters in the UFC. When the fight was offered to Evans, he didn’t hesitate to accept, knowing what a tough opponent Bonnar would be.
“Joe Silva just called me and said, ‘We’ve got another fight for you,’” Evans commented. “He said it was with Bonnar, and I basically said okay. I’ll fight anybody, and I figure I’m going to fight them all eventually anyways. I think this will be an exciting fight because he is so tough, and he has a lot of heart. He’s good on the ground and he can hit. He has a boxing background, and he’s been working his Thai. He’s well-rounded. There’s no one area where he’s not well-rounded. I think my hands are a little bit better than his, and I think my takedowns are better, so I’ll be able to control the pace.”
From day one on The Ultimate Fighter 2, Rashad was always the underdog in pretty much every fight he took, and this will be no exception. At the same time, Evans is a fighter, and he never feels overwhelmed with any potential match-up.
“It really doesn’t matter to me,” said Evans about his underdog status. “The spectators say who they think the favorite is. It’s just a fight to me. However the people see it, that’s how they see it, but for me, I just try to go out there and fight the same way.”
Rashad Evans will get his chance to continue to climb up the ranks of the UFC’s light heavyweight division when he takes on Stephan Bonnar live on Spike TV on the latest edition of Ultimate Fight Night.