Captain America took some time off from Avenging stuff to give his prediction (or lack thereof) for the main event this Saturday between Champion Jon Jones and former champion Rashad Evans.
Couture spoke to ‘Five Ounces of Pain’, stating, “I really don’t have a prediction and I could make a case for either fighter winning the bout. The favorite is probably Jones because of his range and he is so athletic with such a dynamic striking style. Rashad has the tools and the skill set to make it a tough fight for Jones, but he has to make it a wrestling match and take him down at every opportunity. That’s not the style we tend to see out of Evans since he landed that head kick on Sean Salmon.” You guys remember that one, right? I’m pretty sure Salmon does, at least the beginning of the match. I believe it’s been used in a few intros and commercials because of how devastating it was. Personally I think his K.O. of the Iceman was more impressive. Not just because of who Liddell was (and is) but because of how far into the future he propelled his grey matter.
But Couture goes on to say that he believes striking against Jones isn’t the best game plan. “Being a stand-up fighter is not a great style match-up when you are facing a guy like Jones. The question is can Rashad formulate a game plan and make Jon wrestle with him? If he can do that he certainly has the ability he can win the fight, but I question he’ll be able to do that for a five round fight.”
He then questions this whole rivalry, which spans back to a week before the Hatfields and McCoys started getting it on. “The rage and hatred thing- it’s overblown. Rashad has taken that road with other opponents. Yes, they were training partners and there is some rhetoric going back and forth, but I’m not sure how heartfelt any of that really is. I think because they were training together they need to put it on a level so they can beat the hell out of each other. At the end of the day they will pick each other up and say’ great fight’ win or lose. This isn’t like Tito (Ortiz) and Ken (Shamrock) or Tito and Chuck (Liddell)…” (sensing a pattern here) “… where they really hate each other, (though) they were close at one point.”
I have to agree with Couture on this point. The feud really does seem to be more for show. Maybe Evans does feel some kind of way about having Greg Jackson on the opposite side of the cage, but I honestly think he’s focused on beating Jones for the title, and not letting this drama distract him.
When asked who he thinks has the best shot of taking the belt from Jones, Couture gave a surprising (to no one) answer: “I think a fighter like Dan Henderson or even Chael Sonnen, who is a very big 185-pounder and used to compete as a light heavyweight with strong wrestling. They have to take him out of his comfort zone and take away his reach advantage. There is no longer anyone in the division and maybe not in the sport as far as Jones’ reach. His takedown defense is good and he has very good wrestling. He has very unorthodox striking which makes him very dangerous. I think you have to use the fence, use your wrestling and force him to fight your fight. Either one of those guys can do that.”
Sounds like Couture is describing his own style. Who knows, maybe his style is the one to dethrone the champ. They say styles make fights and so far Jones’ style is beating the crap out of all the others. Will Evans heed the words of a former heavyweight and light heavyweight champion? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean we can’t ponder them. What do you think about Couture’s picks? Should Sonnen move up if (when) he loses to Anderson? Should Hendo just keep being Hendo?Tags: featured, MMA NEWS, Strikeforce, strikeforce news, ufc news, UFC on FOX, UFC on FOX 2, ufc on fox 3, UFC on Fuel, UFC on FX