Debunking Rashad Evans’ claims about Phil Davis’ wrestling

Maggie Hendricks

CHICAGO -- Rashad Evans and Phil Davis both wrestled in the Big Ten in college, a fact that has been discussed several times over in the build-up to their UFC on Fox 2 bout on Saturday. Davis has questioned Evans' credentials, while Evans called Davis' technique trash.

During Thursday's press conference, Evans even went as far to call competition Davis faced during his tenure weak.

"You wrestled in a year that was kind of soft," Evans said. "Your technique is trash."

Unfortunately, the facts don't support Evans' claims.

Davis was a four-time All-American at Penn State, which means he placed in the top eight of the country in every year he wrestled. It's a difficult feat, no matter the competition. But the wrestlers Davis faced every year that he earned All-American status are names that are familiar to MMA fans.

Davis won the national title as a senior, beating three-time All-American Wynn Michalak from Central Michigan along the way. Max Askren, Ben's brother who won the title in 2010, also placed in the top eight that year.

In 2007, he shared the podium with the same man he shared the dais with today: UFC middleweight Chris Weidman, who beat future world team member J.D. Bergman on the way to a third-place finish. Davis lost in the finals in 2006 to Jake Rosholt, a UFC and WEC veteran and a three-time NCAA champion. When Davis took seventh his freshman year, he beat UFC light heavyweight Ryan Bader in the second round of the tournament.

Evans has talked about how he is better at MMA wrestling than Davis, and he'll get to test out that theory on Saturday. However, questioning his wrestling credentials is a waste of trash talk. A man with a national title, four All-Americans and two Big Ten titles has already proven himself on the mat.

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