UFC 156 Conference Call: Rashad Evans Believes He Can Beat Anderson Silva

Christopher Heathman@@CHeathmanCorrespondent IIJanuary 21, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 21:  Rashad Evans prepares for his light heavyweight title bout against Jon Jones for UFC 145 at Philips Arena on April 21, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The routine UFC media conference calls are quite often exactly that: routine. The same questions no matter who the fighter is, met by the same responses used in countless previous interviews. But Rashad Evans sparked debate when he stated he believes he could beat Anderson Silva.

Evans said: “I believe I can beat Anderson Silva, and I believe that the skills that I have is something he’d have hard time dealing with, but to compete against the guy, first and foremost, would be an honor in and of itself.”

The former UFC light-heavyweight champion was speaking ahead of his bout at UFC 156 against Antônio Rogério Nogueira, but the conference call is not the first time he has hinted at a possible move to 185 pounds to face the arguable greatest of all time.

After Silva defeated Chael Sonnen at UFC 148, Rashad Evans tweeted Lorenzo Fertitta and said he wanted to pick a fight with the middleweight champion.  Since then, fans and writers of the sport have debated the prospect of a potential Silva vs Evans bout.

The Ultimate Fighter series 2 winner is widely regarded as the No. 2 light-heavyweight in the UFC, and after suffering only his second loss of his career against Jon Jones in his last outing back in April 2012, it has been difficult to see what direction is next for "Suga" Rashad.

As a potential title fight, Silva vs. Evans is an intriguing encounter. Evans possesses the wrestling pedigree similar to Chael Sonnen, but arguably has an advantage over "The American Gangster" in terms of striking.

As far as deserving a title shot in a different division, the second best fighter at 205 pounds challenging for the 185 pound crown would be far less controversial than Nick Diaz taking on George St-Pierre, or Sonnen fighting Jones.

With the UFC already setting a precedent for highly debatable title bouts in 2012, Silva vs. Evans is not that far-fetched. The middleweight title picture just so happens to be particularly blurred, and you could argue Evans throwing his hat into the mix would only distort matters even more.

But with Chris Weidman injured and Luke Rockhold probably needing to fight at least once before he challenges "The Spider," Anderson Silva vs. Rashad Evans could be a main event which happens sooner rather than later