MMAValor: How do you feel about having to wait for the Rua fight since it is now moved to May, 2011 because of his knee surgery? Would you have rather it been closer to your last fight in May of this year?
Rashad Evans.: Yeah, I would rather have been able to stay active and fight him pretty close after my last fight but with him having the knee surgery it’s gonna be pretty much out of the question. Then it becomes about, should I wait to fight for the belt or should I fight just to fight? Then you have to think, what is my motivation for fighting? Is my motivation to fight just to fight, or is it to make money or is it to be the champion, you know, you have to weigh out what is your motivation and my motivation to fight is to be the best and to be the champion.
MMAValor: You have the wrestling advantage in this match up but are you confident that you can effectively control Rua on his back since his training with Damien Maia? He has proven himself to quickly improve on his drawbacks?
RE: Yeah I’m definitely confident in my jiu jitsu once I get him down to the ground. Maybe this fight I actually showcase that I actually know jiu jitsu, you know, so I’m definitely confident. I think he’s really good off his back and he’s pretty slick off his back, but I’m not intimidated at all.
MMAValor: How confident do you feel you can take him down and keep him down? Do you think it would be easy for you or do you feel he has improved his takedown defense?
RE: I don’t think he will be harder to take down, but I think he is going to be harder to keep down. That’s one thing about Rua is that he is really, really good at getting up so if he is able to get up then he’s able to get up, you know. I don’t think there is really going to be anything easy when it comes to this fight. I think that he has found his rhythm. When he first got to the UFC he kind of struggled a little bit, had his though fights where he was trying to find his rhythm, but now he has found his rhythm and kind of reinvented himself and now it’s looking like the I’ll definitely have my hands full any way I decide to take this fight.
MMAValor: How are you planning on avoiding his striking and leg kicks?
RE.: I think I just have to go right at him. I think I can’t try to move around too much or try to get away from him because he will find me, because he is a very aggressive striker. So, I can be aggressive too.
MMAValor: Do you think there is a possibility for you to KO him and how do you think that can play out?
RE: Yeah, I think there’s a possibility for me to knock him out, I mean that is what I hope to do. That’ll be great to knock him out. That would be my aim to try to knock him out, but you know if I catch him or something it would probably be off his aggression. I’ll see if I can capitalize on him coming in.
MMAValor: Best advice as a fighter you have ever gotten and who was it from?
RE: The best advice I ever got from a fighter was Randy Couture. It was right before I had to fight Chuck Liddell. I went to Randy’s room: “Dang Randy, man I’m so nervous man, I’m just so nervous!” and then he said: “Rashad, what you’re nervous about is the outcome tomorrow, you don’t know if you’re gonna win, you don’t know if you’re gonna get knocked out. What you need to do is, you need to make friends with the worst outcome. Make friends with the worst outcome and understand that no matter what happens tomorrow, whether you go and win dramatically or you get knocked out the worst you ever been, that, the sun’s still gonna come up, your family’s still gonna love you and you’re gonna have another day to live”, he said: “Just go out there and have fun. Once you make friends with the worst outcome then the rest is easy!”