S*** man, a lot of people have Rashad wrong. He's the most down-to-earth guy, unbelievably nice. Here?s an example: My mom loves horses. She will talk your friggin' ear off about horses if you let her. Most people try to get out of it when she starts talking about them. [Rashad] has talked to my mom, and she brought up horses. He sat there and talked to her for two hours about horses, asking her questions and stuff. He's one of the coolest guys I know. In college he was really cool, one of my best friends.
The 'problem,' though, is that Rashad likes to tell the truth in the media. Everyone likes to go the politician-route, the mother f***er who lies. People need to realize that if it's too good to be true, it probably isn't true. People who are real, they don't like that. They like Hollywood these days. They like s*** that isn't real. They get mad at him because he talks from the heart."
-A fired up Gray Maynard talks to Jon Luther at MMAFA.TV about Anthony Pettis still being in line for a title shot and defends his former Michigan State roommate and friend Rashad Evans from critics.
Penick's Analysis: In a lot of ways I agree with Maynard's criticisms of Pettis, and some of them are things I've written right here before. And even if he beats Clay Guida in June, Pettis will still be taking a pretty big leap ahead of guys like Miller and Melendez. Still, it's not his fault the UFC is giving him the opportunity. He was told heading into WEC 53 that the winner of his fight with Ben Henderson was getting a title shot. He went out and had his best career performance and ended it with that fantastic kick, but the shot was his whether that would have happened or not, that just made it an easier sell.
And after what Henderson was able to do against Mark Bocek last weekend at UFC 129, I think it makes Pettis' performance in December even more impressive, because Henderson is no scrub. Still, it can't be held against him that the UFC is pushing him ahead of the other, more deserving names. He's being given an opportunity and he continues to seize it. If he beats Guida and gets his shot, then Maynard will have a chance to prove that Pettis doesn't belong in there with him if he also beats Edgar later this month. That's the only place this type of talk will matter.
As for the comments on Evans, there always seems to be multiple sides of Rashad that make it out to the public. He might be the most misunderstood fighter in the sport, with a large segment of fans taking everything he says in the wrong way, because when it comes to interviews like this with people that have known him personally the same things are said a lot of the time. It's a side of Evans that a lot of people, for whatever reason, don't want to let themselves see, but it's a side of him that is there and will continue to be praised by his friends and those close to him.