Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans was a guest yesterday evening on NBC's 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon'. He was there to promote next week's fight with Tito Ortiz, the main event at UFC 133. There isn't a ton to the conversation. There's nothing particularly revelatory about their discussion, although Evans' story of seeking Randy Couture's counsel is amusing. The larger takeaway for me is just how excellent Evans' media promotion skills have become. He was never bad at it, exactly. He was selected to take part in Spike TV's 'The Ultimate Fighter' in its second season, an opportunity not exactly afforded to dullards and the lobotomized.
But he's also sharpened his skill to the point where he's able to let his personality shine, offer a professional face to the MMA athlete and properly service the promotional role during media spots.
The three UFC fighters who've done considerably better than their peers at the late-night sit-in guest spot are Rashad Evans, Rampage Jackson and Jon Jones. The three-way semi-rivalry among them makes the prospect that any future permutation of fights involving any combination of the two gives me hope they'll be able to promote their bout on a more elevated media stage and do so with aplomb.
It should also be noted Jimmy Fallon and his team at NBC are beginning to stand out for their willingness to feature top MMA fighters as guests. More, please.
Video of the interview is below: