Sparks fly between Evans, Davis

NEIL SPRINGER, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:44 PM ET

Sparks flew on a recent UFC media conference call — but not from the usual suspects.

Vegas odds would have certainly favoured Chael Sonnen getting into a verbal sparring session with Michael Bisping. The best trash-talker in the business is set to meet the brash Brit in the co-main event of UFC on FOX 2 in Chicago on Jan. 28 and neither fighter has been known for holding back.

But Sonnen and Bisping only had nice things to say about each other.

The fireworks came when Phil Davis had the gall to suggest he might actually defeat Rashad Evans in the main event.

“Let’s get one thing straight, you aren’t beating me,” interjected Evans, who could be next in line for light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones. “It can’t come fast enough. I’m going to smash you, dude. He isn’t ready and he knows he isn’t ready. When I look into his eyes, he isn’t ready. You’re just a boy.”

“I was kind of thinking you shouldn’t be too concerned about that title shot,” Davis responded. “It’s not going to be for a little while. You’ve got a little while before you can worry about a title shot. It’s not going to happen this time around.”

“We’re going to see what happens when those lights hit you,” Evans countered. “When you walk out and that crows is roaring. We’re going to see what kind of man you are. We’re going to see what kind of fighter you are because I know you aren’t a fighter.

“When you get hit in the mouth, things change. When you got hit by Li’l Nog (Antonio Rogerio Nogueira), you didn’t know what to do. When I hit you in the mouth, you’re going to feel it.”

“Oh, that’s scary,” Davis sarcastically replied.

UFC president Dana White has already confirmed that a victory for Evans means a title shot, but a win for Davis doesn’t necessarily yield the same reward. Should he pull off the upset, MMA legend Dan Henderson will likely challenge Jones.

Davis said he doesn’t feel slighted.

“That actually works perfectly into my plans; I take a little rest and he’ll fight for the title,” Davis said. “Whatever happens with that — cool. I’m up next.

“After I beat Rashad on the 28th, they won’t have anything to do with me other than fight (for the belt). Rashad is the true No. 1 contender, and after he loses, who is next (for me)? The champion.”

Since his victory over Quinton (Rampage) Jackson in May 2010, Evans has seen title shot after title shot fall apart before his eyes. He was set to meet Jones on two separate occasions, but the bouts never materialized due to injuries sustained by both fighters.

But now that he’s only one fight away from a crack at the gold, Evans admitted he can’t afford to get ahead of himself.

“I can’t look past Phil in any shape or form,” Evans said. “So the whole Jon Jones talk, or what could happen if I win this fight — whatever, it really doesn’t matter. Everything is contingent on my performance next week and that’s the only thing I can really think of right now.”

Though Evans claims he won’t be taking the bout lightly, the former light-heavyweight champion doesn’t consider Davis a real fighter.

“Come one, come all — it doesn’t matter who they put against me,” Evans said. “I’ve got to beat them all the same, no matter what, no matter how they stack them up. If Phil is next in line, Phil is next in line. But the fact that this kid actually thinks he can beat me kind of bothers me now.

“Look, there are some people that will fight if they weren’t getting paid to fight and I’m one of those people. Phil is not one of those people.”

“You’re absolutely right; I’d be pushing a pen,” Davis responded. “But since I get paid to fight, it looks like you’re next.”

“There’s a difference with the mindset,” Evans countered. “You’re going to find out what that difference in mindset is ... You can say what you want to over the phone, but once we get in that cage and you can’t get out, we’re going to see how you feel then.”

“When I’m on top of you, I’m going to remind you with every shot what you said,” Davis replied. “Remind you with every shot.”

MEZGER TAKES OUT THUG

Retired MMA fighter Guy Mezger hospitalized a knife-wielding attacker over the Christmas holidays. On Friday’s edition of the Carson’s Corner podcast, the UFC 13 tournament winner discussed the heroic act that saw him step in to help a woman being assaulted by her boyfriend. The crazy part: Mezger had to KO the thug three times before police arrived because the assailant kept charging forward after regaining consciousness. Mezger suffered a deep cut on his left hand that required surgery to repair damaged tendons ... The UFC on FX 1 bonuses are in: Pat Barry and Christian Morecraft earned Fight of the Night, Ottawa’s Nick Denis secured Knockout of the Night and Jim Miller was awarded Submission of the Night. Each fighter took home an additional $45,000US ... The UFC plans on utilizing instant replay for self-regulated, international events. About time.

—Neil Springer


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