Their choice of attire sometimes questionable, fight fans are nonetheless not stupid or gullible, and so the idea that Saturday’s Rashad Evans/Thiago Silva bout is some kind of “grudge match” may be met with some offense.
Evans is close with Keith Jardine, whom Silva knocked out in an August event. Hype show editors would have you believe this is sufficient cause for Evans to “seek revenge” against Silva, though both Silva and Jardine were simply doing what they are paid to do. (It would actually be far more offensive for Silva to barely train or put up much effort against Jardine: showing up prepared tends to indicate a healthy degree of respect.)
Does anyone buy that Evans has any real motivation beyond the norm of wanting to win and get paid? And as fight fans, do we begin to take this increasingly threadbare theater by being insulted or just considering it part of the show?
What It Means: For Evans, a chance to prove that the Lyoto Machida loss hasn’t rattled his confidence; for Silva, his biggest win in his career to date against a man who wins 98 percent of the time.
Wild Card: Evans comes from a strong wrestling background, but you wouldn’t know it on sight: standing and pulling the shoulder-shake bravado routine against the murder-stare muay Thai of Silva would not be one of his better game plans.
Who Wins: Evans: more tools in the box, assuming he brings everything with him.