Rashad Evans: I Gotta Fall In Love With That Grind Again


Rashad Evans was under a lot of pressure in the lead up to his UFC 161 bout with Dan Henderson, mainly due to his lackluster performance against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in his previous outing. Many fans were starting to think that “Suga” had lost his touch, and would soon drop out of the top flight.

Evans himself spoke to MMAFighting.com to clarify what his mind state was coming off of two straight losses:

“It’s something, I’ve got to cross it every day. I’ve got to remember, okay, this is why I’m doing it,” Evans said. “See, the biggest part, what happened to me before, is the fact that I forgot why I was doing it. I didn’t enjoy it anymore. I was to the point where I was just going through the motions. I didn’t enjoy the process, because it’s all about the process. You’ve got to really dig deep and you’ve got to really love every single thing about the game.”

Evans is a former TUF winner and UFC Light Heavyweight champion; his accomplishments in MMA are genuinely impressive. Past accomplishments will get you nowhere without the drive to attain more, something that Evans knows only too well.

“The grind, the grind is where it’s at. So I gotta fall in love with that grind again. And that grind is what brings that dog out. Because when I’m out there and I’m doing that extra work, when I’m hitting that bag and I’m making myself go until I can’t go no more, until I want to pass out because I’m so dizzy with exhaustion, when I do that, I know somebody has to pay for that. So when I’m on and when my mindset is going like that, on fight night it becomes easy, being I’ve been breeding that dog all through training camp. On fight night I get to let it out.”

It has been a long time since we saw the Evans that tore Forrest Griffin apart, knocked Chuck Liddell’s beard off and dispatched of Tito Ortiz. He will have his hands full with facing a renewed Chael Sonnen, although I would say that Rashad at one hundred percent is so much more dangerous than Sonnen.

For starters; Evans’ striking is very unique and has a lot of KO power to boot. His 33% KO ratio does not do justice to the power that he possesses. Also I think people forget that “Suga” was unbeaten for the first five years as a pro, only suffering his first loss when he lost his title to Machida in 2009 and his third overall after the Nogueira fight. The kid has a ton of talent.

Sonnen is a different beast, a fight anyone, anywhere kind of guy; Great for your bosses, but not so great for your record. He really is the wildcard in this match, and if he can pull off the win; get ready for Chael P’s fourth title shot in the UFC.

  • "3 KO ratio?" There's a difference between poetic license and just bad/wrong word usage.

  • Rashad outside of being explosive has bad overall striking. He does not throw combos often and does not mix in alot of kicks. I would think he may be confused with a South paw like sonnen and get clipped or taken down. I like Rashad 's athletic ability, but I don't like that he does not try to submit when he takes guys down. He has not improved like I thought he would.

    Still a guy with a world of talent though.

    • I would not agree with this idea that Rashad got talent, I think he is more mental giant who can work very hard, lets be honest he is small for the lhw, and yet he won tuf of heavyweight division.
      Chael is not talented too, but he is also have huge mentality, I mean once he got 3 straight losses, ussualy guys from 3 losses quit mma, or they do not come back in ufc, he did not just in ufc, now he is the big dog in lhw and mw.
      So who have bigger mentality, that guy will walk out of the cage with victory.

      • ummm ok…..I'm not sure if guys quit after 3 loses? But they do get booted quiet often. But I think I should read this comment again..it's fairly Confusing.

      • I 100% agree that rashad is tough as hell mentally and yea he finds a way to win fights. That's why he was undefeated for so long and I will never forget that Forest fight when Griffin had Evans against the cage and unleashed a great combo that HURT him and Rashad responded by blowing a kiss and grabbing his crotch and that seemed to mentally break Griffin.

  • All in all it's not like he abandoned his submission game. Watermelon—- have you ever seen him submit or even "try" to submit someone in the ufc? I think he might have won "one" fight via sub before his ufc days? But I do read he is a bjj black belt which I think all good wrestlers are given for free at jackson camp aka Jardine's black belt….But that gaidoblablajitstoopish jackson black belt is in full affect around Rashad's waist.

  • Rashad has been boring for quite some time now. Even the fight with Jon Jones wasn't all that exciting. He's still very talented and has alot to offer but he's become one of those top tier guys that's scared to lose.

    He's been saying the same thing over and over again for the past couple years……."I can beat Jon Jones," and "I have to embrace the grind again." I say STFU and just do it.

  • When was the last time Chael lost a non-title fight? He didn't beat Anderson or Jones, but there is a pretty long list of guys that would lose/have lost to those two. Chael is a beast, look for a 2nd round choke from top position to retire Suga.

  • Must be hard to grind all the way to the top.Knowing who is up there waiting with the belt.