Rashad Evans has vented his frustrations at the fans who have taken to booing him and been critical of his wrestling based game-plan against Rampage Jackson in a new interview with Fighters Only.
“I wanna say, if you guys are fans, be fans of the sport,” Evans says, speaking directly to the camera. “Don’t just be fans of certain aspects of the fight or the sport. It’s not boxing – it’s MMA. That means you can use wrestling, jiu-jitsu, muay thai, karate, boxing or whatever you feel to be your discipline. That’s the sport that your claiming that your fans of. Be a fan of the sport. Don’t just say that ‘lets go toe-toe, that makes you a man’. No, that just means you’ve got a short career motherf*ckers.”
To an extent I sympathize with Evans, it can’t be a good feeling to put everything you have into training for a fight, executing the game-plan that you’ve come up well on the night, win the bout, and then get booed and criticized for it.
At the same time, speaking out like this isn’t likely to win him many new fans. Instead, since he’s shown that it’s getting to him, his detractors will probably get on his case even more about it in the future.
In an ideal world it would be great if everyone that watched MMA had an appreciation for all aspects of the game, but it’s not something that you can force fans into.
If people are willing to shell out for the pay-per-views, get tickets to see the fights live, buy the merchandise, or just simply sit down for a few hours to watch on TV then they are entitled to enjoy the sport for whatever reason they chose to, and have their own opinions on it.
I think Evans is a good guy and he can be interesting and articulate, but he needs to be careful not to let his frustrations get the better of him and end up riling up the fans so much that he becomes another fighter like Michael Bisping or Josh Koscheck who fans love to hate.
Watch the full interview below in which Rashad also hit out at Rampage Jackson for his criticism of his fighting style in their headline bout at UFC 114.