Evans said he’s chosen not to buy into the rumors that his Jan.
2 opponent Thiago
Silva is injured.
Silva, who faces Evans at UFC 108 on Jan. 2 in Las Vegas, was said
to have strained his ankle in training but was coaxed to stay on
the injury-laden card by the promotion for additional compensation.
Silva and his American Top Team camp have denied the rumors.
Evans, a former light heavyweight champion and recent “Ultimate
Fighter” coach, said he does his best to avoid Internet discussion
that could cause his mind to wander from his objective.
“I’m not going to put in my mind that, ‘Oh, he’s hurt, so I’m going
to go after him,’” Evans said Tuesday during a media teleconference
call. “I’m just happy that he is healthy and that we are going to
fight. Unless I get a call from Dana (White) or Joe Silva, I try
not to pay attention to what’s happening and they didn’t call me,
so I was like, ‘Alright, everything must be just a rumor.’”
Silva, 27, who rebounded from a first-round knockout loss to
Machida last January by stopping Evans’ teammate Keith
Jardine seven months later, couldn’t answer how or where the
“I was completely surprised by it,” said Silva through his
translator. “I don’t know how this came out. This completely
(makes) no sense. This is one of the stories that came out of
nowhere. There was nothing wrong with me. I’m completely healthy.
I’m ready to fight. We can’t understand how this thing came
Likewise, Evans, who turned 30 in September, said he is also
shelving his ill will toward nemesis Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, who
dropped out of a high-profile December bout against Evans to pursue
a movie role.
“My focus is on Thiago so much. I don’t want to overlook him, not
even a little bit,” said Evans. “A lot of people wonder about
Rampage, Rampage, but Rampage don’t mean nothing if I can’t beat
“(It was) a long to-do with Rampage, a lot of verbal intercourse
that never really amounted to anything,” continued Evans. “I’m
ready to get back in there and get a fight in there.”
More from Evans:
On fighting around the holidays: “Last Christmas, I was sitting
in the hotel at the MGM getting ready to fight Forrest
Griffin, so it’s the second Christmas in a row. I think I got
over the initial sting of not being able to be with my family on
Christmas, so I think I’m good for this Christmas.”
On trusting himself more: “I think one of the things that
happens is you get to a certain point, you’re the champion, and
everybody thinks they can add to your game, help you out. Sometimes
they can, but sometimes it just gets a little bit overwhelming and
distracting when you have too many people in your ear telling you
do this and do that when essentially, you pretty much know what to
On staying focused: “I’ve made it a point not to get
distracted on what I want to do because Thiago is a very hungry
fighter and every time I find myself drifting away from the person
I got to fight, I just watch what I say and do what I’m supposed to
do and then it just gets me motivated all over again.”
On rebounding from the Machida loss: “For the most part, I’m
just a lot more confident in my game plan and my strategy going
into this fight. I think I’m a bit sharper than I was, but it all
remains to be seen. You can feel one way in practice and get out
there and totally, you know, in the fight, look like crap. It’s all
about execution. That’s what I’m focusing on -- just going out
there to execute.”