|Rashad Evans (courtesy of UFC/Zuffa)|
Photos courtesy of UFC/Zuffa
By Blake Garris
Fresh off two losses in a row, UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Rashad Evans has something to prove. This Saturday he will attempt to do just that against Dan Henderson at UFC 161 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
We spoke with Rashad prior to the fight about his opponent, what he thought of “Marvel’s Iron Man 3” and much more.
Marvel.com: Since you last spoke with us, “Iron Man 3” has come out. Have you seen it?
Rashad Evans: I did see “Iron Man 3.” I thought it was phenomenal, man. I think in that movie he became more Iron Man than he was before, because not wearing the suit actually helped him to understand who the Iron Man character was. He realized then he didn’t really need the suit to be Iron Man. That’s what I liked most about it because there was a heart behind it. I think that was the movie that showed it wasn’t just the suit.
Marvel.com: Were you an Iron Man fan before the films?
Rashad Evans: Yeah, I was a big Iron Man fan. But the movies made me an even bigger Iron Man fan, just because of the character of Tony Stark. Robert Downey, Jr. did such a good job of bringing that character to life. He made Iron Man come to life.
Marvel.com: You read comics when you were younger, right?
Rashad Evans: Yeah, I haven’t been reading them since I’ve been so busy now. I used to read them all the time growing up. I used to go into a store we had in Niagara Falls called Tops, and I would go and just sit there and read the comics until they were like, “Okay, you gotta go or you have to buy something.” And then I didn’t really see a lot of comic books on the shelves anymore in the regular supermarket stores, so then I’d find them here and there in comic book stores. But then I went into Barnes and Noble one day and found all the comics. I was able to get back on my comic book thing once I started being a security guard at a hospital. And I would just devour those books. I was into Spider-Man back then and looked at all the Spider-Man books.
Marvel.com: You mentioned in the last interview you did with us that you love Nightcrawler. What made Nightcrawler such a great character for you?
Rashad Evans: First of all, I love the way he moves. That’s power. When you see me enter the cage, my whole style before I start to fight? That’s Nightcrawler position. When I used to wrestle in college, I used to try to move like Nightcrawler. But the best thing about Nightcrawler is that he can teleport. I’d be badass. I’d be teleporting. Forget about it.
Marvel.com: Did you see “The Avengers”?
Rashad Evans: Yeah, I loved “The Avengers.” You never know how that’s going to happen, when you put all of the different characters together, but they made it make sense. They even followed up on the same storyline in “Iron Man 3.” He couldn’t forget about what happened in New York. It just followed the same storyline and it made sense.
Marvel.com: Who would you say is your favorite Avenger if you had to pick one?
Rashad Evans: It would have to be Iron Man. I’m a big Hulk fan, but his character’s not like Tony Stark. Tony Stark makes the movie.
|Rashad Evans (courtesy of UFC/Zuffa)|
Marvel.com: What makes you like the Hulk? Did you watch the TV series?
Rashad Evans: Yeah, I love the Hulk because I like how he just flips it and he can’t really control it. And I used to feel like that sometimes as a kid. I’d be cool, but then I’d flip and I can’t control it. I used to watch [the TV series] all the time when Lou Ferrigno was the Hulk, and he’d just Hulk out. I used to love that.
Marvel.com: And Spider-Man’s still your favorite character?
Rashad Evans: Yeah. I love Spider-Man. Spider-Man, he’s good man. He’s real good. I like Spider-Man.
Marvel.com: You’re fighting this weekend. It’s not a title fight, but what’s the importance of this bout for you?
Rashad Evans: The importance for me is to get back on track. I had a couple fights where I slipped and I lost two fights in a row, and I’ve never lost two fights in a row, so it’s kind of been a wake-up call. As far as on the performance side, knowing that I need to execute and perform. So that’s where the importance of this fight is for me.
Marvel.com: Do you have a past with your opponent Dan Henderson?
Rashad Evans: No, I don’t [have] a past with him. I know him from just seeing him around in the game. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him, just for the work that he’s done in the sport. He’s a legend in the sport.
Marvel.com: Did you change your workout regimen any for this bout?
|UFC 61 poster (courtesy of UFC/Zuffa)|
Rashad Evans: No, I didn’t change my workout regimen. I just kept it the same. Just added a few more things, started focusing more on what I’m good at and the things that I must have to fight him.
Marvel.com: What else do you have going on besides the fight this weekend?
Rashad Evans: I’ve just been really trying to focus on my fighting and I want to stay busy doing the analyst stuff because that’s what I want to do after I get done with fighting. But for the most part is I figure that you really can’t get away from your bread and butter and what put you in the position that you’re in. I’m still a fighter, so as a fighter I still have to be on the ground and putting in that work.
Marvel.com: What can fans expect from the match this Saturday?
Rashad Evans: They can expect the rejuvenated, excited-to-fight Rashad.UFC 161 airs live on pay-per-view Saturday, June 15 at 10pm EST. You can follow Rashad on Twitter @SugaRashadEvans.