In a world filled with differences and disagreements, one thing connects us all—dreams.
For UFC's light heavyweight Rashad Evans (16-1-1), his dream was to one day become a police officer where he could serve those around him.
Little did Evans know at the time that his dream would escalate from being a police officer to a world champion.
Evans is now slated to take on fellow light heavyweight Phil Davis (9-0) in the main event at UFC on FOX 2 on Saturday, January 28th.
UFC on FOX 2 will take place at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois beginning at 5 p.m. PT and 8 p.m. ET.
In a recent interview with Bleacher Report's Garrett Derr, Evans shared his unexpected journey to the UFC and what it means to fight in the city in which he resides in.
"My journey was kind of an unexpected journey. I kind of did mixed martial arts as a hobby. At the time I was actually wanting to become a police office as I was working in a hospital as a security job in Michigan," said Evans. "It was something I did in my off time."
"So, I was kind of a natural and good at it because of my wrestling and boxing skills from growing up. I didn't really realize that I could make it into a career until midway through the Ultimate Fighter show when I started beating guys who had been training in the sport for a really long time," stated Evans.
"They were training with really good camps," said Evans. "These guys were training with the Matt Hughes' and the Greg Jacksons."
Not only did Evans go on to win the Ultimate Fighter Season 2 Finale but he'd establish himself as one of the top 205-pounders in the world.
Evans' dominance has allowed him to fall to defeat just once in his UFC career and has given him the opportunity to return to the city in which he treasures deeply.
"It's important for me because more or less I still live in Chicago. It has a different meaning and significance to me. Chicago is like a New York City. It's one of the those older cities," said Evans. "It really means something to fight there."
While Evans is certainly anxious to take on his fellow Big Ten wrestler Davis, he'll have to wait until the co-main event between Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping is decided.
Evans weighed in on the co-main event which also has its fair share of hype and anticipation.
"Bisping is a scrapper man and that's one thing people don't really realize. You cant watch a Bisping tape and get a true appreciation for just how good he really is until you're in there," stated Evans. "And by then, it's usually too late."
"He's very tricky and he's a lot better than what he looks. You underestimate him because he doesn't look strong but he's surprisingly pretty strong."
"For me I think the pressure Chael Sonnen brings is hard to match with his offense, takedowns, ground and pound, hand in the face and dropping elbows and shots. It kind of wears down a fighter. And, if he does that to Bisping too much, I think he'll be able to maul him," said Evans.
When Sonnen and Bisping leave the Octagon, it will be game on for Evans as he'll be squaring off for a chance to win his fourth consecutive fight and move closer towards his much-desired title fight with Jon "Bones" Jones.
"I'm pretty much going to do what I do. I'm confident with my striking as well as my takedowns. Phil has a good wrestling pedigree but at the time same time, this isn't a wrestling match. I think my MMA wresting is better than his. If he takes me down I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get back up," said Evans. "I'm not going to put too much pressure on where the fight needs to go."
"We're both fighters who have the ability to wrestle and strike. So, let the best man take the fight where he wants to take the fight. But I'm pretty confident I'll be able to take the fight where I want to take it," stated Evans.
While Evans is certainly used to the spotlight by now, he's yet to square off in a five-round fight in his career. Davis has also never participated in a five-round bout yet even a main event.
However, Evans isn't too concerned as he's confident in his conditioning and ability to outlast his opponent.
"I really haven't done too much different. I can't say I haven't done anything different but I've done much more conditioning with volume and endurance training," said Evans. "I've been spending more time in the gym than anything."
As Evans continues to prepare for his national televised FOX debut, he isn't simply preparing for "just another fight."
In fact, over the past several weeks, there has been bad blood between Evans and Davis leading up to their bout which could ultimately decide who's next in line for a title shot.
"I guess for the next week or so we're not going to like each other. But, going into the fight, I have nothing but respect for Phil. I remember watching his first UFC fight and watching him wrestle in college," said Evans. "Ive been a Phil Davis fan."
"Now that we're going to fight it changes everything. He's been talking a little crazy and has gotten me aggregated. So, I'm not a fan at all right now," shared Evans.
A win over Davis could solidify Evans' long-awaited shot at Jones which could take place as soon as UFC 145.
However, Evans believes focusing on what's ahead rather than what's in front of him could ultimately provide him with a disadvantage.
"I've heard Dana White say in interviews that I'm next in line but that's about it. He hasn't given me a special call to tell me if I win I'll be getting a title shot. But I try to push that out of my mind to be honest. I don't want to be in the position of having something to lose," stated Evans. "Because, if you have something to lose, the guy who doesn't have anything to lose has the advantage.
"If I do well enough and win this fight and get the honor of having the title shot then great. I can't really worry about it right now. The only thing I have to worry about Phil Davis," said Evans.
Despite Evans' focus being set on Davis, many fans are already anticipating what could be one of the biggest fights in UFC history if "Suga" and "Bones" Jones would clash for the light heavyweight title.
When asked if Jones was still stealing his "swagger," Evans laughed and responded with,
"I don't know, I haven't really seen him. Maybe not now that he's the champion and has been for a couple fights. Maybe he has a little confidence and has his own style now. I'll let you know If I see him jacking my style."
Evans concluded by thanking those who've been supportive and by his side over the course of his successful career.
"I'd like to thank Authentic Sports Management, JACO clothing for being the best brand out there and of course my team, the Blackzilians."
To learn more about Rashad Evans, follow him on Twitter.
For additional information, follow Garrett Derr on Twitter.