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Monday, 04/16/2012, 12:03 pm

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Rashad Evans is the underdog against Jones | But is he underrated?


By Lorenzo Luciano:

Let us put aside for this fight analysis, all of the former teammate issues that have been headlining the upcoming fight between current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and number one contender Rashad Evans. Jon Jones is without a doubt one of the hottest and most talented fighters to come into the sport of MMA and to fight in the UFC since Anderson Silva started fighting for the organization in June of 2006.

On April 21st, 2012 Jon Jones and Rashad Evans will meet to fight for the light heavyweight championship in Atlanta, Georgia at the Philips Arena. Once the octagon door closes, it will come down to which man can execute a game plan that will exploit his opponent’s weaknesses with greater efficiency than his opponent can against him, that along with physical talent and prowess will determine who will walk out of the octagon with the light heavyweight championship belt.

The battle between the two former teammates is rated at the time of this writing, at 4 to 1 odds for Jones. Interpreted as, if Jones fought Evans 10 times, Jones would win 8 of those fights and Evans 2. For a fighter who has lost only once in his professional MMA career, are these odds warranted for Evans? Most would agree to Evans being the underdog, but is Evans being underrated?

Rashad Evans, the 32 year old former light heavyweight champion has a long history in the UFC with 17-1-1 record. His only loss was suffered at the hands of Lyoto Machida that came in the form of a devastating knockout at UFC 98 on May 23rd, 2009. Evans lost the belt that evening and has not regained or fought for a championship title since.
The young 24 year old Jon Jones has been fighting since 2008 and has a record of 15 and 1, the only loss being a disqualification for illegal “12-to-6″ elbow strikes. Physically, Jones has the longest reach in the UFC at 84.5 inches and with a height of 6 feet 4 inches he is a physical force to be reckoned with, compared to Evans who has a reach of 75 inches and a height of 5 feet 11 inches.  Jones has a reach advantage of 9.5 inches and a height advantage of 5 inches; we’ll chalk this one up for Jones.

Evans fights out of Boca Raton, Florida with the Blackzilians, has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestled for the NCAA Division 1 in college.  Evans is generally ranked as the number two light heavyweight fighter in the world.

Jones trains with Greg Jackson out of Albuquerque, New Mexico and was an exceptional wrestler in high school and community college, before dropping out and dedicating himself to mixed martial arts. Both Evans and Jones have strong wrestling and Evans definitely has the wrestling pedigree but will he be able to take Jones down? Size alone makes a big difference but on the other hand, Evans is one of the best wrestlers at this weight class.  On the ground, Evans does have a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu but that hardly helped Maurício Rua at UFC 128 or Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 against Jones.

So what is it about Evans that makes this fight more of a challenge for Jones than what the odds makers give Evans credit for? Well for one Rashad did train with “Greg Jackson MMA” for a long time, so this gives him an edge in knowing how they work, how they think and how they devise their game plans. Which is not to say that Rashad will know what Jones will do, but in general when you know how someone or some organization thinks, you can generally predict what they will most probably do in a given situation with set circumstances. Jones and the Greg Jackson team do not know and have not trained with the Blackzilians, therefore they do not have this advantage.  Evans will most likely put this to good use against the strong light heavyweight champion. Evans has stand up, wrestling and a ground game, if he is able to take Jones down, it will completely change how the fight will unfold.

Last but not least, Evans has experience on his side, if he can take the young Jones down at least once and connect with a punch or two during the stand up, it would knock some of the confidence out of the young champion and prove to be a deciding factor in the outcome of the fight.

Given his outstanding and dominating performance against some of the best light heavyweights in the division, Jones should rightly be the favorite against Evans. However at 4 to 1 odds, one has to question whether we are underrating the very skilled and experienced Evans.

Only time will tell and on April 21st, the main event should prove to be a spectacular championship fight.

comments

47 Comments to Rashad Evans is the underdog against Jones | But is he underrated?

  1. david says:

    i honestly feel like rashad is probably going to win, feel free to berate me below assholes

  2. T.Daddy says:

    Bones is gonna treat frog legs

  3. DMAC says:

    Fight Week! Let’s go Suga!

  4. Diezel says:

    This fight should be free, The only Noteworthy fight is the main event……

    • Ninja Oreo Dollop says:

      I think Stephen “wonderboy” Thompson is on this card but UFC 146 is a much better card.

      Fucking Overeem killed the best card all year.

      • jbeamazing says:

        That was the sad day we all knew what he was on but damn it I wanted to see him actually fight the best in the world!

        • Ninja Oreo Dollop says:

          There’s an obituary in the news paper for UFC 146… Ah, you will be missed.

          Overeem’s going to Bellator/SFL if he gets cut! I’m calling it here!

  5. Ninja Oreo Dollop says:

    Rashad’s wrestling combined with his BJJ are going to make this fight more interesting than past opponents of Jones. I only see Rashad winning by submission.

  6. Rich Mendez says:

    I’m also on the Rashad wagon….Jones may be on an impressive streak and is no doubt talented, but Rashad is pretty badass himself. The man always comes to fight hands down and despite his one loss to Machida and draw to Ortiz, has an almost perfect record in the UFC. Styles make fights and I think Rashad takes it by decision. Even if he loses, Jones won’t be looking so superman like against Rashad like he has against the others and some of the mystique will be tarnished.

  7. jbeamazing says:

    If your a betting man go rashad I don’t think many picked my man and if he makes it a pure wrestling match mixed with some ground and pound he could win

  8. Pancho says:

    Fuck Rashad. BONES JONES FTW!

  9. Rich Mendez says:

    Jones is a biter…rashads gonna take him to school.

  10. pat says:

    Every time machida touched rashad he went down. Thiago silva and rampage both almost finished him. Glass jaw evans has no chance. Maybe 14 to 1.

  11. Rich Mendez says:

    Thiago landed him with one punch and the guy isn’t exactly known for punching soft. Same goes for Rampage, he hits just as hard as anyone. Bottom line, Rashad beat both of them. Lyoto knocked him clean out though so that’s his only legit loss. For the exception of Lyoto, just because they hit hard doesn’t make them a better overall fighter.

  12. Shoryuken says:

    Lyoto stumbled jones too.
    Lyoto ain’t too shabby himself.
    Got rashad. But jones will probably decision rashad. Bunch of lame boxing with a couple spin moves.

  13. TrigenicKin says:

    I’m hoping for Rashad, but I know Jones will win. If Rashad wins, I will be a happy man. If Jones wins, the only thing waiting for his jaw is Hendo.

  14. War Rashad says:

    Make em skip to your lou Rashad and luliby his a$$ to sleep.

  15. Bennyboy says:

    how is everyone so sure that Jones can knock out Rashad? I know Rashad has a glass jaw but who has Jones knocked out? out of all his fights he only got a KO (not TKO) victory once. Plus i really havent seen Jones rock anyone besides that elbow to the side of Bonners head but anyone can daze someone with an elbow to the side.

    • Shudo says:

      Jones may not have single punch knock out power but so what? He wilts his opponents. He made Rua tap from strikes. Ask him if Jones is powerful.

    • Ninja Oreo Dollop says:

      His GnP is inhumane! He is the opposite of Brian Stann. I know it’s silly to say such thing but I feel like you can’t hit a pad the same way you hit a human being. Jones talks about being a martial artist but a martial artist has restraint. I have never seen a beating like Shogun took. It’s a little disturbing to watch.

      Rashad needs to watch out for those bony elbows and GnP of Jones because that’s where his real power lies.

  16. Ron says:

    Its funny how people comment about mma n dont know shit about mma jones is gonna clean that smirk off rashads cocky fuckin face cry me a river u got hurt n your boy beat shogun n got the belt then beat a whos who of top lhw fighters get over it! n u are just bitter cause u had to change camps n you are st8 up jealous n you know u got no chance of gettin that belt back!

    • david says:

      you stating that people “dont know mma” doesnt make it true asshole, where the fuck are your credentials? unless youve been a pro fighter for a while or have a degree in mma fundamentals or some shit shut the fuck up and quit trying to put yourself above everyone else, you have an opinion on who is going to win just the rest of us you fucking ignorant prick. now go back to acting thuggish with your bad spelling and gangsta attitude. str8 up foo!

  17. ShogunLHWChampion2059! says:

    My comical and joking name aside, I find it interesting the amount of confidence Evans showed both in the lead-up and now – in the hype til the fight – maybe their time training together has given Evans the confidence that he can beat Jones? Even Jones admitted in one of their many shared interviews that Rashad both took and held him down, with Jones unable to get back up. My predictions: either a masterclass display of unorthodox striking by Jones leading to a TKO, or Rashad wrestling and holding Jones down. Regardless, I’m excited.

  18. Rich Mendez says:

    Hey Ron….you might want to invest in a spelling course in addition to sounding like an ignorant dumbfuck. All praise “Ron” because he’s the authority on MMA. Opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one. We’ll add yours to the list because thats all it is.

  19. Shudo says:

    In all fairness each has one loss officially but Jones’ loss came by DQ in a fight he was completely dominating. Evans has several wins by split decisions and one majority decision. Not exactly dominant wins and could have easily been losses. This is not two one loss opponents facing each other. Also of Jones’ wins only two have been decisions. Evans has 9 decision wins. Jones’ has dominated and finished some of the greatest fighters at 205. I don’t see Evans fairing any better.

  20. slacker says:

    I’ll take Rashad for the upset. I think he will be able to get inside and I think he will be able to take him down. Big mental edge to Rashad.

  21. fuck rashad says:

    Rashad don’t stand a chance. He hasnt fought a top 5 lhw in ages. He doesn’t even deserve this shot at Jon. I can’t wait till Jon puts him to sleep, then all u delusional fukin idiots that think rashad is even guna push Jones further than machida will think to yourselves, Fuck I’m retarded. This is a one sided fight. Jon will win, there’s no two ways about it.

    • slacker says:

      You are not in reality.

      • Turkeykneck fun chav says:

        reality is not in him

        • slacker says:

          Wait til people sees Jones on his back for the first time. They are going to realize that he is far from unbeatable.

        • Turkeykneck fun chav says:

          i cant actually call it. i like jones and rashad
          i think rashad has painted this picture and tried to tarnish Jon jones because actually it was rashad that called jones out not the other way around lol. wierd games hes playing.
          I like rashads confidence though, he makes you believe hes gonna fucking destroy jones and makes you worry for jones that it will break him.
          This is anyones fight to be had. its brilliant for the fans

  22. jonesy says:

    i think it the opposite …rashad is way way overrated.

    • slacker says:

      I don’t know why you think that. He fought a real good fight against a very tough style in Phil Davis. Phil was bouncing back and forth the whole time, making it extremely hard to time any striking attack against him. Plus, he used his long legs to keep Rashad at a distance similar to what Jones will try to do, so it was a great tune – up match.. But Rashad handled the awkwardness of his style perfectly. He was patient staying on the outside, then caught some of his leg kicks, and capitalized with vicious ground and pound. He also was very patient in the striking, clinching him when the opportunity was there, pushing Davis up against the fence, and landing vicious blows. He will do the same to Jones.

  23. fuck rashad says:

    We’ll see come the weekend you stupid Cunts. Rashad is guna get put to fukin sleep one way oranother. The hardest thing Jon will have to do on the night is decide how he wants finish him. teach him not to run his mouth like a Fukin idiot.

  24. fuck rashad says:

    Rashads cardio is shit. He won’t last 5 rounds at Jones pace.

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