Today the UFC on Fox 2: Evans vs. Davis main card participants took part in the open workouts. The open workouts took place at the Chicago Boxing Club in Chicago, Ill. UFC.com photographer Josh Hedges was on scene and took some killer shots of the fighters as they prepared for Saturday’s contest.
The main event this Saturday is a light heavyweight showdown between former champ Rashad Evans and prospect Phil Davis, while the co-main event pits two of the UFC’s biggest bad boys in Michael Bisping and Chael Sonnen against each other.
Rashad Evans, UFC light heavyweight
“Davis is intimidated. I’ve seen him around and he’s not looking too confident. He’s not ready for this level, and he knows it. He’s coming to put up a good show, go back down a level, and come back again in a year or two. He’s not coming to take it to me, but I am gonna’ take it to him. After I had my year off (with injury) I came back with the attitude of never, ever leaving it up to the judges and just throwing hands all the time. That’s the way my career is going to go, and that’s how I am going to.
Phil is just a nice guy. He’s not a fighter. He’s an athlete, a great athlete, but not a fighter. He has no killer instinct for this and he’s got no experience at this level. He’s never fought at heavyweight like I had to (in TUF 2) to get into the UFC. He didn’t get punched by Chuck Liddell and Rampage Jackson like I did. He’s not had to dig deep at all.
He’s in deep water, and I’m the shark.”
Phil Davis, UFC light heavyweight
“He’s delusional. If he thinks he’s going to out-wrestle or intimidate me, he’s in for a shock on Saturday night. I’ve been working hard for this; I can’t wait to get back into the Octagon after a layoff. He’s not as good as he thinks he is, and I am better than he thinks I am. He thinks he’s a better wrestler than me, crazy. I would beat him 100 times out of 100. He was something like .500 in won/losses in wrestling. I was a champion; he just competed.
Yes, I have only nine pro MMA fights but the inexperience thing isn’t an issue. I am less experienced than every single guy I’ve faced, and I am unbeaten. I am experienced at winning, and that’s what really matters, and I’m going to experience winning again on FOX.”
Chael Sonnen, UFC middleweight
“I hate terms like ‘hype’ and ‘trash-talk’ because I don’t do that. I never say anything I don’t mean and I’m not going to insult a guy I have no problem with. But, that said, Bisping is a jerk and I’m going to finish him faster than he can devour a Bovril and meatpie. I am the best fighter in the world. He thinks he can beat me, I think I can beat him and we are going to see who is right in the only debating forum that matters – the UFC Octagon.
I came to Chicago to do Michael Bisping a lot of physical harm. I don’t come here to ‘talk trash’ because that’s not something I do.
When this fight was announced, over 2 million extra tickets were demanded by the fans. This is the real main event, the biggest fight of all time.”
Michael Bisping, UFC middleweight
“I know some fans are disappointed that there hasn’t been eight weeks of zingers between us and, to be honest, I think we would have got into it if this fight had been made two months ago. But right now, both of us had to focus on getting ready for a new opponent – and in his case a more dangerous opponent in me – on a week’s notice. I never talk trash unless someone has disrespected me and, to be honest, Chael has been very complimentary of me.
Chael and I have thrown a few little jokes here and there but that’s because we’ve both got a sense of humor. And he’ll need that sense of humor after he goes to the hospital on Saturday night just like seven of my last eight opponents have. I am under no illusions – I am getting kicked, punched, elbowed and taken down by Chael but he’s getting punched, kicked, kneed, elbowed and knocked out in return. It will be a nasty, nasty war, but I’m beating him up and winning this fight. I am sure I will be taken down, but he’s going to have to worry about being submitted each time he does that. He won’t be able to hold me down and I know I can pick him apart standing.
“It is a great fight, I am sure we are both going to look like car-crash victims on Sunday AM. Never mind the trashtalk, we can both do that in our sleep, just tune in on FOX and watch the fight of the year. I may have only been told about this fight last Tuesday, but I have trained my arse off since I was eight years old. I am going to make the oddsmakers look like fools; I am winning this fight.”
Demian Maia, UFC middleweight
“I was disappointed to hear my fight with Bisping was off, but am happy to still be on the card on FOX. I’m ready to turn a negative into a positive, to control the part I can control, which is winning. A win over Bisping would have put me back in the world title picture, but Weidman is a dangerous young fighter and he knows a win over me put him in a great position.
Bisping actually apologized to me for taking the Sonnen fight, but I completely understand. I appreciated him saying that, but this is what we do and the sport we are in. Now I can’t think about Bisping. I have to think about Chris Weidman. I don’t know if it is possible for Weidman to be 100% fit after taking the fight at such short notice. I’m not sure, but I have to go in thinking with the mindset that he is 100%.
He is very dangerous, and I guess that I would rather fight him now than after he gets even better and more experienced. For sure, he will be very motivated. I am not going to lose at this stage though; I have worked too hard and expect a submission after a tough fight.”
Chris Weidman, UFC middleweight
“Taking the fight at a week’s notice wasn’t all that had a decision. I have an opportunity to gain a lot of recognition and get myself up to where I want to be. I was just about to eat a load of waffles when I got the call… I threw those waffles away. There was no chance I was going to pass this up, I want to get into the top five and here’s my chance. You only live once. I didn’t want to sit at home and watch some other guy fight on FOX in an opportunity I already had passed up.
I’m not worried about stepping up at all. I have a lot of respect for Demian’s jiu-jitsu, but if we go to the ground, I’m confident and excited to prove I can hang with my own BJJ. He’s going to have a lot to worry about, too, in this fight. I’m not the guy who’s going to be starstruck just because of the stage or the fact I am stepping up to this level. I believe in myself and I think I can go in there and submit him or stop him.”