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Thread: Revitalized to fight Sonnen, Evans admits he 'was just going through the motions

  1. #1
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    Default Revitalized to fight Sonnen, Evans admits he 'was just going through the motions

    http://www.mmafighting.com/2013/9/9/...ts-he-was-just

    "Him and Dana (White) are close. Chael is about big fights, and he's about the fights that are going to bring him the biggest draw, so I'm sure I made more sense to him than anybody else," Evans said of his UFC 167 co-main event clash against Sonnen on Monday's The MMA Hour.

    "I wasn't surprised because we'd talked about it. I think one thing with Chael is that he went out there and had a good fight against Shogun (Rua), so then he got confidence. He knows that, ‘You know what, I can compete against these guys at this weight class.' I think when he went against Jon (Jones), that being the first outing, it didn't give him much confidence to be in the weight class because he got dismissed so early. But now he went in there, fought Shogun. Shogun's been a top-five fighter for like the past four or five years. It just made him think that he can stay at 205."

    The Sonnen-Evans match-up was an unexpected one for many, especially considering Sonnen's prior insistence on returning to the middleweight division. However Evans believes the surprising quick finish of Rua proved that the loquacious Oregonian may actually be better suited for his heavier new digs.

    "I think that he's better at 205, and I'm going to say that because he's not cutting a lot of weight," Evans said. "When you're not cutting a lot of weight, that's something that comes to be a factor later on in the rounds. For a fighter like Chael who's a grinder, I think not having to cut weight is going to actually play to his advantage, because now he's going to actually have all that endurance that he wouldn't normally have because he's fighting close to his natural weight."

    Evans admits it'll be awkward fighting a man with whom he's developed an intimate on-screen rapport. He's no stranger to trading blows with acquaintances, yet even though the present situation differs wildly from his feud with Jon Jones, Evans believes it's best if he avoids any studio work with Sonnen prior to November 16, 2013.

    "Hate is a strong word, but I've got to start strongly disliking him," he laughed.

    "It's all good, man. It doesn't change the way I feel about Chael. I still think he's one of the best guys inside the sport and outside of the cage. But don't get this wrong, me liking him is not going to stop me from trying to get after him."

    As the co-feature on the UFC's 20th anniversary show, a Georges St-Pierre headlined pay-per-view no less, the bout serves as a return to prominence for Evans, who not long ago faced questions about his desire to continue competing following a lethargic performance against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

    A winner since he began his career in MMA, Evans stared eye-to-eye with a potential three-fight losing streak for the first time ever leading into his UFC 161 bout against Dan Henderson. At the time Evans downplayed the significance of the dreaded number, but looking back, the stress of dropping three straight contests was very real indeed.

    "I'd like to say it wasn't, but it really was, man," Evans admitted. "When your back is against the wall and you've got your whole career, everything you've worked hard for, and it comes down to losing a couple fights in a row, it does stuff to you. It does rent space in your head. The system that's created in the UFC, you lose three fights and it's like you're on that bubble. You don't know what's going to happen, and you don't ever want to be in that position. I hold myself at a higher standard. That's something I did not want for myself. So when I was fighting against Dan Henderson, I was like, ‘Man, I've just got to get through this fight. I've got to get this win. I don't care how it gets done, but I've got to get this win.' And it felt good to know that I've still got it."

    "People say a lot of things," Evans continued. "You can say it don't bother you, but at the same time, it does find a way to seep into your mind a little bit. When I was going through my losing streak, I wasn't on the internet, I wasn't doing none of that. Twitter will hurt your feelings, man. I stayed away from all of that because what happens is that you'll start reading all that stuff, and then it'll just stay in your mind, and then you'll start second guessing yourself when normally you wouldn't. It comes down to, you've just got to believe, no matter what."

    Now that the threat of the executioner's ax no longer lingers above his head, and Evans is freed to reflect on what caused his listlessness, the 33-year-old is changing things up this time around. He plans to kick off camp in New Jersey under the watchful eye of Renzo Gracie and striking coach Mark Henry, before shifting back down to his familiar Blackzilian team in Florida.

    It sounds cliché, but Evans simply believes he grew tired -- tired of training, tired of the endless climb, tired of the grind. Yet "Suga" knows by now, the sweet taste of victory tends to re-awaken that fire.

    "It's not something I'm going to try to find at night. It's something, I've got to cross it every day. I've got to remember, okay, this is why I'm doing it," Evans said. "See, the biggest part, what happened to me before, is the fact that I forgot why I was doing it. I didn't enjoy it anymore. I was to the point where I was just going through the motions. I didn't enjoy the process, because it's all about the process. You've got to really dig deep and you've got to really love every single thing about the game.

    "The grind, the grind is where it's at. So I gotta fall in love with that grind again. And that grind is what brings that dog out. Because when I'm out there and I'm doing that extra work, when I'm hitting that bag and I'm making myself go until I can't go no more, until I want to pass out because I'm so dizzy with exhaustion, when I do that, I know somebody has to pay for that. So when I'm on and when my mindset is going like that, on fight night it becomes easy, being I've been breeding that dog all through training camp. On fight night I get to let it out."

  2. #2
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    Great fight, I'm excited for this one. Both guys pose good threats to each-other but I see this being a 5 round WAR.. I can't see either guy stopping the other, let's be real.. Evans Unanimous Decision.
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    Growing complacent seems quite common in professional sports. Time and time again there are plenty of athletes in every field of play that seem to fall into two categories. Either a) they try as hard as possible, but a championship/award/honor eludes them to the point where they don't see the point in the day to day training. Or b) the mentality of "been there, done that," creeps in and prevents them from giving any extra effort and evolving to stay on top. It's a hard road to get on but staying on it is even more difficult, especially if the athlete has a husband/wife and/or child(ren). When I read the headline, I was initially dismissive of Rashad's claims of going through the motions. But everyone hits that wall at some point, like it's a fog that clouds your everyday life.

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    Evans by 2nd round TKO.

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    This is just a damn good fight on paper. While we have seen Rashad get a couple of KO's before I have never bought into the fact that he has true KO power. Chuck had already lost his chin when Rashad took his head off. Evans does have good kicks, but people have also questioned his chin before. Sonnen just straight up aggressive yet has very little knockout power as well. There is a chance this ends up as a stalemate but the chess match between the wrestling along with the fireworks when they are separated should make for some fun

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    Ill put my left nut on the line the Ole Stanky Leg takes this with easeeee
    I really believe that people like Bill Murray or John Belushi are just as great and just as valid as Robert De Niro or Al Pacino. And I don't think you can say One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) is a better movie than Animal House (1978); they're different genres. I think they're both examples of great craftsmanship.

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    This fight has me more intrigued that any have in awhile, including Evans vs. Hendo. I think it will be a very entertaining fight, and unfortunately one of these guys has to lose. I don't know who to root for in this one, so I'll just try to sit back and enjoy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Return Of...... View Post
    This is just a damn good fight on paper. While we have seen Rashad get a couple of KO's before I have never bought into the fact that he has true KO power. Chuck had already lost his chin when Rashad took his head off. Evans does have good kicks, but people have also questioned his chin before. Sonnen just straight up aggressive yet has very little knockout power as well. There is a chance this ends up as a stalemate but the chess match between the wrestling along with the fireworks when they are separated should make for some fun
    I'm no fan of Rashaad, but to say he doesn't have true KO power is absurd. The shot he hit Chuck with would have probably knocked out anyone, including heavyweights. I think you're right when about the chance of this fight being a stalemate. I think the chance of that is pretty good which is why this fight isn't interesting me as much as it is others here.

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