The “UFC 108: Evans vs. Silva” pre-fight press conference took place on Wednesday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. UFC President Dana White, along with headliners Rashad Evans and Thiago Silva, as well as Dustin Hazelett and Paul Daley fielded questions from the media. Here are some notable quotes from the presser:
Just like 97 other fights in the past couple of months, that one has fell apart. Cantwell has some medical problems. He might not ever fight again.
I think he’s [Rashad] going to have to beat Thiago on Saturday to get that shot with Rampage.
Anybody that doesn’t think this guy [Rashad] is a star wasn’t here when he arrived at the MGM yesterday.
He’s [Gilbert Yvel] been training for years now with John Lewis. People think he doesn’t have a ground game but he definitely does.
John’s been trying to get him [Gilbert Yvel] in the UFC for some time. …He [John Lewis] assured me he’s going to be an absolute professional.
Losing in such a devastating fashion is never easy to overcome. But having that time in there helps you to see where you went wrong and the mistakes you made to put yourself in that position. The time off, definitely benefited from that, and helped me get the hunger and focus back I needed to pursue the title again.
I think it [TUF 10] changed the perception of me big time.
Being a coach is something I would love to do. …it’s something I can’t walk away from after I put down the gloves.
It’s something you never forget that helps you harness your focus in whenever you get off focus or off trail, or those days when you don’t feel like training or want to take it easy. But then you think about how you lost, and you’re like, let me go on in there and do a couple more rounds so that way, that doesn’t happen again…
For me this is a big fight. Rashad is a great athlete. I think this is a good opportunity for me. I think it’s going to be a great fight.
I’m always going to be looking to keep the fight standing.
It would be ignorant for me not to train on the ground. …but I will do what I can to keep the fight standing and avoid the submission game.
I don’t think I’m a better grappler than Dustin. I ain’t gonna lie to you. His fight record proves he’s a far superior grappler than me. That’s not what I specialize in. However, if plan A fails, which I highly doubt it will, of knocking him out and keeping the fight standing, there is a plan B.
I’m not by any means going to try and make this fight a brawl. I’m not the strongest guy. I’m not the fastest guy. I got where I am by hard work and intelligence.
I always try to go the path of least resistance which almost every fight for me has been getting it to the ground, and I don’t think this will be any different.
I’ve been working really hard on my striking for a long time.
I like fighting opponents that have the ability to defeat me. If I go into a fight and I think there’s no possible way this guy can defeat me, that’s not fun for me. That’s what I like about this sport, knowing I have to be on my best, or I could lose.
I think you need to be humble and learn the true message of martial arts.