(Video courtesy YouTube/MMAH.E.A.T.)
Sometimes Strikeforce interviewer and MMA H.E.A.T. reporter Karyn Bryant sat down with current number one UFC light heavyweight contender Rashad Evans recently and got his take on some of his former and potential future opponents among other topics.
On beating Rampage:
"It felt good, man, but I wish it had ended like it began, in the first 15 seconds of the fight. But it didn’t, man; it was a decision. It was still sweet because I got to systematically break him down through the whole fight. There will be no ‘You caught him and that’s why you won’. It was a decisive win for three rounds."
On facing Machida again, possibly in an interim title bout while they wait for champion Mauricio Rua to heal from knee injury:
“I would like to fight him [again] but I had to [win] two fights to get back to being the number one contender: Thiago and Rampage. I don’t see why he should not have to fight anybody and get a chance to fight for his belt back. I think maybe he should go and fight a fight and then come back and we’ll do it like that. Him and like Rampage both lost. Maybe they should fight each other. I think there’s a lot of good light heavyweights he could fight. There’s somebody he could fight to get his footing back, get his style back and get his feeling back again, but I think when you make us fight each other right now, you eliminate two top competitors. If I fight him and one of us loses and has to go back down, that only leaves room for one of us to go forward. It leaves a gap."
On whether or not he will take a fight while he waits for his shot at Shogun:
"I don’t think there needs to be an interim fight. I enjoy the learning process and what happens when you are always training for a fight, there’s only so much you can learn because everything is only for that fight. But when you have the time off, you can allow yourself bring in new tools and new skills that you can use and get comfortable using them before you have to bring them into a camp and get ready for a fight. So this is actually my growing phase right now. If [Shogun] is out until March, then I’ll wait till March to fight. I don’t see why I would put myself into the position where I would have to put another hurdle right in front of where I’ve already set myself to be."
On Shogun’s return to form:
"Shogun is pretty good, man. He’s tough and the best thing about it is he’s found his game again. When he first started in the UFC it was like, ‘This guy’s a has-been, he’s done and he left his best fights behind in Japan’. Now he’s coming back and he’s looking good and he’s looking like the old Shogun again. So now you got a tough opponent in front of you. You can’t forget, he had some bad fights, though."