UFC on FOX 2 Predictions: Phil Davis Will Upset Rashad Evans
The clock is ticking down as tomorrow night UFC on Fox 2 will take place and Rashad Evans and Phil Davis will finally put their words behind them and test each other in the cage.
Evans is the favorite as the veteran and former champion. He should be. Nothing in his record says he should be on the losing side Saturday.
He has the superior striking, is a decent wrestler and has beaten the better opposition. He is even better at playing mind games than Davis.
But from every interview he has given and every article that has quoted him, there is a feeling that he doesn't see Davis in his league. To some degree, all fighters must feel this about their competition. They have to believe that they are the best in the world.
However, as much as every fighter should expect victory, they should also prepare for defeat. No one can fault Evans' physical preparation for Davis. He is in great shape and there are no signs he had a bad training camp.
He just hasn't prepared himself mentally.
There is always a split when it comes to fighters in the cage. There are those that think they should respect their opponents when they walk into the Octagon and those that think respecting their adversary makes them look weak.
They should, however, always be wary of who they are fighting. Evans hasn't shown that edge that he needs to when facing a younger fighter like Davis.
Davis has shown a desire that only the best ever reveal to not only beat Evans, but cement himself as the top challenger. He is not only thinking about beating Evans, he is thinking about how impressive he can be as he does it.
Evans has been the No. 1 challenger for so long that it almost feels like he has taken it for granted.
In a video interview on MMAFighting.com, Dana White told Ariel Helwani that he didn't think that Evans felt that Davis was on his level. This is White's opinion and there is no proof that it is true, but White is also the president and has been around these fighters more than most.
Evans has come off as more confident in the buildup to this fight and tonight it might cost him. Fighting is more exhausting on the mind than on the body.
Having someone come at you with the physical intent to do harm causes stress on the body and the psyche that needs to be prepared for. Evans knows this, and is already a professional at pushing it aside, but ignoring the hungry Davis leaves him open for a pace and mental beating that a five-round fight will take is a mistake.
He may realize his folly and make the needed changes, but it will be too late at that point.
It's a mistake that will lead to a loss and a realization that a little more wariness might have helped him avoid defeat.
Matthew Hemphill writes for the MMA and professional wrestling portion of Bleacher Report. He also hosts a blog, elbaexiled.blogspot.com, which focuses on books, music, comic books, video games, film and generally anything that could be related to the realms of nerdom.
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