Sometimes, however, trash talking goes wrong. It appears to have gone sideways for UFC light heavyweight contender Rashad Evans.
During a press conference to promote the UFC on Fox 2 fight card on Jan. 28, Evans and opponent Phil Davis engaged in a little back and forth banter after a fan posed a question to the former light heavyweight champion.
Evans was asked which version of his fighting persona would show up against Phil Davis. The knockout happy Rashad Evans, who floored fighters like Chuck Liddell and Sean Salmon, or the wrestling and ground and pound machine that beat opponents like Jason Lambert and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
“Whichever one shows up,” answered Evans. “I prefer to bring out the knockout one, cause Phil, he needs to get knocked out.”
This prompted a response from Davis, who invoked the name of Evans’ former training partner and now heated rival Jon Jones.
“Glad you mentioned that cause one of your buddies, Jon Jones, said you don’t have much of a chin,” Davis stated.
Hearing Jones’ name pop up once again infuriated Evans, who then responded with a longer, more intense diatribe that ended with reference to the horrendous situation currently surrounding former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and his alleged sexual assault on numerous children.
“You’re going to have to find out for yourself. I bet you won’t be able to put your hands on me though. I bet you’ll be the first one to take a shot. I guarantee you’ll be the first one to take a shot,” Evans said.
“Cause I’m going to put those hands on you worse than that dude did to them other kids at Penn State.”
Davis attended Penn State, where he wrestled and won a NCAA championship.
Whether he was trying to push a button or get clever with his response, Evans went over the line with his trash talk, especially when considering this was a promotional event to hype up the next major UFC on Fox show.
Evans has yet to comment further on the war of words he engaged in with Davis, or if he has any plans to issue any sort of an apology for the crass and cruel reference to such an awful story still permeating the headlines.
While free speech is definitely something to hold near and dear in the United States, Evans didn’t violate a law by what he said, but stepped over the lines of poor taste and poor timing.