MMA Fighting's Luke Thomas conducted an interview with Imperial Athletics coach Mike Van Arsdale at the UFC 145 press conference earlier today, and he had some interesting stuff to say regarding Rashad Evans and his wrestling. The interview started off talking about Greg Jackson's camp, then Luke switched the topic to how the wrestling will play out in the Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans fight. Van Arsdale broke it down nicely:
"The fight, all these fights, come down to distance, and who controls where the fight goes, so...controlling where the fight goes is called wrestling. So this is a wrestling-based sport. The striking is there, and when you're doing your striking that's how you're controlling the distance, so the transition between striking and wrestling will determine who wins the fight. Whoever can perform the transition best will win."
When Luke asked Van Arsdale to compare Evans' wrestling to fellow UFC light heavyweight Ryan Bader, Van Arsdale was extremely blunt with his answer:
"Rashad is 100 times harder to wrestle than Ryan Bader in MMA."
"Because I just said it. Whoever controls the transition, and whoever is good at that will be good at MMA, and Bader's not very good at it. I'm not saying anything bad about him but he's working on some of the wrong things, and Rashad's faster than Ryan Bader. And Rashad, when you shoot on Rashad Evans, it feels like he weighs maybe 400 pounds. It's really hard to take him down. Ryan Bader looks really, really strong, but he's not as strong as he looks."
Ouch. You can catch the rest of the interview below the jump, which includes an injury update from MVA, his thoughts on Charles "Krazy Horse Bennett training with them for a few days, and a quick thought on the upcoming Olympic trials.