MMA Today: Davis aims to prevent Evans title bout

Jan 28 2012 - 6:43pm

Phil Davis and Rashad Evans joined four other mixed-martial-artists recently on a conference call promoting Saturday's "UFC on Fox 2" at the United Center in Chicago.

Much of the 30-minute call was devoid of trash talk, save for the occasional good-natured barb between the fighters.

But the niceties quickly dispersed when the conversation turned to what will happen with the fighters' careers after the bout.

With a victory, Evans is slated for a title shot against Jon Jones.

Davis, who is not under the same guarantee, doesn't see that happening.

"Pretty much after I beat Rashad on the 28th, we'll see what's next," Davis replied.

When told that former Strikeforce and PRIDE champion Dan Henderson would likely get the nod if Davis were to win, he replied, "That actually works perfectly into my plans. I take a little rest, 'Hendo' fights for the title, whatever happens at that (fight), cool, I'm up next."

Evans, who has been in the Ultimate Fighting Championship since he defeated Brad Imes to win the second season of "The Ultimate Fighter" in 2005, offered a quick retort for his 27-year-old opponent, who debuted in the UFC in 2010.

"So let's get this straight. You ain't beating me now and, you know what, it can't get here fast enough because I'm going to smash you," said Evans, a 32-year-old New York native.

Evans (18-1-1) went on to say that Davis "ain't ready" four times, before he told his opponent, "You're just a boy."

Davis, undefeated at 9-0 including 5-0 in the UFC, told Evans that his long-deserved title shot will have to wait.

"You've got a little while till you got to worry about a title shot," said Davis, a Pennsylvania native. "It's not going to happen this time around."

The remainder of the televised card, which can be seen live on Fox at 8 p.m. EST, was shuffled over the past two weeks. Michael Bisping, who was slated to fight Demian Maia, was bumped up to face Chael Sonnen after Maia's original opponent, Mark Munoz, suffered an injury during training. Maia will now fight Chris Weidman.

The Bisping-Sonnen fight will determine the top middleweight contender, with the winner slated to fight champion Anderson Silva later this year.

"It's too big of an opportunity to turn down," Bisping said of the decision to change opponents. "I've been training my whole life for this moment. Of course, I didn't hesitate. The fight with Chael is going to be a tough fight. He's a hell of a competitor. I'm under no illusions. He's going to be tough, but I'm ready. Demian Maia is a very, very tough opponent. I was pulling out all the stops preparing for that fight. A lot of it crosses over into this fight. I'm ready."

Sonnen was in control of his bout against Silva in 2010 before he got caught in a fifth-round submission. According to Sonnen, Silva -- who has won 15 consecutive fights -- declined a potential rematch four times, including during a face-to-face meeting with UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta.

"I can tell you behind the scenes they tried to put me and Anderson together four times," said Sonnen, who followed up his victory over Brian Stann by publicly calling out Silva, who sat cage-side. "And four times, he said no. I called him out publicly. If you call a Brazilian out publicly, you're going to be fighting that Brazilian. That's been their culture. He sat there, covered his mouth and hid behind Charles Barkley. It was a smart move. It saved him a trip to the hospital."

The preliminaries, which will air live on Fuel TV at 5 p.m., include: lightweights Evan Dunham and Nik Lentz; heavyweights Mike Russow and John-Olav Einemo; bantamweights Johnny Bedford and Mitch Gagnon; featherweights Cub Swanson and George Roop; featherweights Charles Oliveira and Eric Wisely; lightweights Michael Johnson and Shane Roller; heavyweights Joey Beltran and Lavar Johnson; and middleweights Chris Camozzi and Dustin Jacoby.

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