There’s been no love lost between former teammates Rashad Evans and Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones. Let’s take a look at how each fighter has progressed since their infamous split form Greg Jacksons in 2010.
UFC 145 Championship
Preview: Jon Jones vs. Rashad “Suga”
The Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia is scheduled to host the
UFC Light heavyweight championship between Jon Jones and former teammate Rashad
Evans. After several fallouts due to injuries, these two finally get to settle what
many consider to be the most genuine rivalry in the sport today
Perhaps above any other UFC title holder, Jon Jones has the
potential fulfill the longest reign as champion. Knocking out Shogun Rua, and
submitting both Rampage Jackson and Lyoto Machida has swung the UFC betting line
even more so in the champion’s favor. Pinnacle opened Jon Jones at -423 before
the unrelenting action surged the line up to -523.
For Jon Jones, defeating his 4th former champion
in as many fights unquestionably puts him in a class of his own. A win over
Rashad Evans all but cements his win streak as the most accomplished title run
in UFC history.
Rashad will be coming into this match having just recently
defeated Phil Davis at the UFC on FOX 2 event. Despite floating around at -155 for weeks leading up to the fight,
Rashad went in there and outclassed his opponent for the entire 5 rounds. The UFC odds ended up closing at -210 but still
offered some of the greatest betting value on the card, as Rashad effortlessly out
struck and out wrestled Davis to a unanimous decision.
With the recent addition of Alistair
Overeem, and current sparring partner Tyrone Spong, Imperial Athletics now
provides Evans with two of the more accomplished sparring partners in MMA
today. As former K-1 legends, Overeem and Spong should provide Rashad with some
of the greatest possible insight into countering Jon’s unorthodox strikes while
getting inside his massive 84.5’ reach advantage. However, whether or not
Rashad has the ability to follow through with their advice remain to be seen.
From a UFC bettors perspective,
this may be a fight best suited for Bookmaker’s live betting option. Rashad has
been pretty animate about how easily he was able to hold Jon down in previous
training sessions from when they were both at Greg Jacksons. Rashad’s first few shots should tell us just
how much truth and credibility that has on today’s version of Jon Jones.
Future Contender to
the Light Heavyweight Strap
So far, Dana White has all but promised Dan Henderson the
next shot against his choice of either Anderson Silva or Jon Jones.
Although he admits to declining a fight with Rogerio
Nogueira, Dan Henderson recently dismissed the rumors about him turning down a
fight with Lyoto Machida in order to secure his shot at the winner between
Jones and Evans.
The question now is whether or not the 41 year old UFC veteran
has enough left in the tank to dethrone either champion. The effects of his
latest 5 round battle with Shogun Rua are still largely unknown. His right hand
may indeed be the ultimate equalizer in combat sports, but finding the mark
with that kind of punch against Jon’s length almost seems like a fallacy at
this point. I’d go as far as to argue that he posses the weakest threat to
Jones since capturing the belt. A jump to Heavyweight may be the inevitable
option for Jones after cleaning out his entire division in less than 3 years.
145 Fight Card