UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans Preview

By: MMA Writer Mike Alexander


We have seen many a grudge match take place in the hallowed octagon. Ortiz-Liddell, Pulver-Penn, and Rampage-Evans all come to mind when you think of a grudge match. But of all the grudge matches in the UFC’s history, none will be able to top the one we will see on Saturday in Atlanta. Light Heavy Weight champ Jon “Bones” Jones (15-1) will take on his former training partner and former LHW champ, “Suga” Rashad Evans (17-1-1).

At just 24 years of age, Jon Jones has done the unthinkable and made his way to the top of the UFC in just four years. He credits his training with Greg Jackson and Mike Winklejohn for his rapid success. But along the way, his success has caused many fighters to grow and hate Jones. The most prevalent is obviously Rashad Evans.

Their feud goes back way back to UFC 128, when Rashad was injured before an upcoming title shot. The shot was then given to his training partner. Leading up to the fight, Jones had an interview where he said that if Dana made him fight Rashad, then he would do so. Evans took serious offense to that, so he began to trash Jones and Greg Jackson. After Jones beat Shogun for the title, Rashad left Jackson’s camp and formed the Blackzillians in Florida, but the war of words never ceased. But with their match this Saturday, the talking will stop and there will be no doubt who really is the best LHW.

My prediction: 

Both fighters have a strong wrestling base, so I believe that the wrestling factor will be rendered null. This will be a battle of stand up and I don’t think the Evans, a good boxer in his defense, can hang with Jones. Jones has some of the most unorthodox, yet fluid striking in the game today. Jones’s striking will set up Evans to get rocked hard, letting Jones capitalize and put Rashad in a submission. I have Jones via 4 round rear naked choke.

Here are the rest of the fights on the card:

Main card

  • Light Heavyweight Championship bout: Jon Jones (c) vs. Rashad Evans
  • Welterweight bout: Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills
  • Heavyweight bout: Brendan Schaub vs. Ben Rothwell
  • Bantamweight bout: Miguel Torres vs. Michael McDonald
  • Featherweight bout: Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin
  • Lightweight bout: Mark Bocek vs. John Alessio

Preliminary card (FX)

  • Heavyweight bout: Travis Browne vs. Chad Griggs
  • Welterweight bout: Matt Brown vs. Stephen Thompson
  • Lightweight bout: John Makdessi vs. Anthony Njokuani
  • Lightweight bout: Mac Danzig vs. Efrain Escudero

Preliminary card (Facebook)

  • Welterweight bout: Keith Wisniewski vs. Chris Clements
  • Featherweight bout: Marcus Brimage vs. Maximo Blanco


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