UFC 108: "Rashad Evans-Thiago Silva" Will Be a Battle of Focus

Erik Fontanez@@Erik_FontanezCorrespondent IDecember 22, 2009

During the UFC 108 conference call today, both Rashad Evans and Thiago Silva shared one point and made it very clear—learn from your mistakes.

The pending bout between the two light heavyweights is building momentum, despite fan and media dislike of a UFC 108 card that has fell victim to injuries and fight shuffling. 

Regardless of the hype, Rashad Evans is out to put on a good show.  Feeling that fans will appreciate the performances he and his opponent will put on, Evans is always out to fight the good fight and is positive there will be no disappointment after the winner’s hand is raised.

An eagerness to compete is apparent in Rashad’s voice, as he talks about being away from a UFC card since his loss to Machida; a loss that he says, “humbles” him.  A chance to finally get in the octagon will be long overdue, especially since his “verbal intercourse” exchanges with Rampage Jackson on the heavyweight season of The Ultimate Fighter.

Now, a sense of focus remains in the mind of the former UFC light heavyweight champion.  No longer will he let the overwhelming feeling of pressure stray him away from a pending victory. 

Though he listens to some, Rashad Evans now attempts to fend away people trying to get in his ear about what he should do and how he should approach a fight.  He feels that once you get to the top, everyone has an opinion on how to maintain the position.  Rashad feels that he has successfully blocked these voices and can now continue on his fight path.

Distractions are no longer an issue for Evans.  This has been one of the biggest changes in his camp and it has allowed him to focus on his next opponent. Evans is so focused, that not even the obvious return of Rampage Jackson is letting him look past Thiago Silva.

Through a Portuguese interpreter, Thiago Silva was short and to the point. 

Finishing in the first round is looked at as a bonus for the 205-pound Brazilian.  He comes out the same in every fight and explains he is, “prepared for whatever happens.” Anywhere the fight goes, Silva is confident that he can mold to the situation and defeat whoever is put in front of him. 

The speculation is that he is prepared for Rashad Evans in all aspects of the fight game.

Like his UFC 108 opponent, Silva is committed to preventing the mistakes he made in 2009 happen again in 2010.  The patience to let a fight develop is now a characteristic of Silva’s strategy.  The best example, according to Evans, is Silva’s fight with Jackson's teammate, Keith Jardine .

Instead of a headhunter’s approach, Silva lets the fight develop through waiting for the right moment to strike.  Obviously, this was the best game plan for Silva as he ended up knocking out Jardine in the first round of their contest.

Revenge does not seem to be on the mind of Rashad Evans.  Although, watching his teammate lose to Silva in such horrific fashion was difficult, Evans is approaching this fight much like he does all his others. 

This time around, Evans will “tighten up” and “not be so sloppy.” This thought process will hopefully ensure a victory.

For Silva, he says it is “a dream” to beat the top two fighters out of the Jackson camp.  If he can get past Evans, Thiago Silva expressed that he would welcome an another offer from the UFC to fight Lyoto Machida

As do most fighters, Silva wants to fight the best in the sport and become a champion.  Although, a fight with Machida stays on the mind of the American Top Team fighter, Silva’s focus remains squarely on Rashad Evans and their pending fight on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010.

There is no bad blood between these two top light heavyweights. 

The bout is looked at as a job that has to be done and both of them are driven to perform to their best abilities.  They will get their chance to prove who sits higher on the UFC’s light heavyweight food chain at UFC 108.

On a lighter note, Thiago Silva wishes you all a “happy holiday!”