“I know what I want to do to get the results that I want to get: Trust in myself and get it done. Takedown, ground and pound, roll up our sleeves and get dirty and go to work. I’m gonna try to get 50 takedowns this fight. 50…Let’s not confuse this whole situation. I’m not going to go in there and stand in front of him and try to bang it out and hope to God I don’t get hit with that big right hand. I’m going to be smart. He’s gonna want to knock me out. It’s not gonna happen. He’s not knocking me out.” — Rashad Evans
Let’s put this into context for those of you who weren’t paying attention last weekend. At UFC 160, Khabib Nurmagomedov set a UFC record for takedowns — in a three- or five-round fight — when he dragged Abel Trujillo to the mat 21 times. Evans plans to more than double that mark when he faces Dan Henderson in the three-round main event of UFC 161.
This would be like A-Rod guaranteeing 150 home-runs this season. The difference is, home-runs are exciting. Evans’s vow to shoot, shoot, and keep shooting rather than mess around with a slugfest may be wise from a strategic standpoint, but it suggests the kind of gameplan that might not be so much fun to see in action.
Our prediction: Rashad tries for 50 takedowns, converts about three or four of them, and spends at least two-thirds of the fight struggling with Hendo against the fence. Apologies in advance, Winnipeg.