Evans Comfortable As Underdog Going Into UFC 98

That he’s the betting underdog once again doesn’t surprise Rashad Evans. He hasn’t caught the popularity bandwagon, and he’s fine with it.

Lyoto Machida is ahead, and he wants to see if he can pass the test.

“It’s all good, I ain’t worried about it,” he told reporters after an open workout in the core of the MGM Grand Garden Arena Wednesday.

So fine, in fact, he’s taken advantage of the odds, betting on himself at the hotel’s sportsbook.

The glare of the spotlight isn’t as intense, either.

“I’ve had the big show as a spectacle before, so now I feel like I’m a little more comfortable,” he said.

Opponents have started falling when he started to feel comfortable—take the head kick that destroyed Sean Salmon. Evans said he didn’t want to throw it.

“I was like, ‘dude, I’m a wrestler, my feet don’t leave the ground,'” said Evans. “But my striking coach, Mike Winkeljohn, had other plans. He made me do it every single day. I would just throw out those 100 kicks, and I was like, ‘this is so stupid, I’m not even going to kick him.’ And it ended up working.”

“Feeling comfortable on (my) feet was about confidence. Feeling confident that I can end somebody’s night on my feet. That’s where it started to change for me.”

Evans’ wrestling has made him an easy pick for several scenarios of the fight, but the TUF 2 winner hinted that a stand-up encounter was his preference.

“The wrestler’s still going to make an appearance here and there, but I love to hit,” he said.

Machida won’t fall easily, but if he does, that wrestler might be on an extended hiatus.