UFC 145 Jones vs. Evans | Lackluster Main Event A STALEmate
Jon Jones defended his belt against who was supposed to be his biggest test Rashad Evans. Instead of it being a test or a highlight reel of strikes and domination it was a lot of sparring. One pressed forward while the other backed up. It is easy to say that this fight did not live up to the hype, but before you start throwing your mouse let me explain.
The build up for this fight has gone on for over a year. The trash talk has gone on more then a year. Both fighters claimed they were going out to destroy the other. Both claimed that the other would be humiliated vengeance would be achieved. When in truth it seemed both were a little gun shy, and hesitant to throw strikes.
Of course you can make the argument it was out of mutual respect for the others talent. But let me remind you about UFC 141. The build up was only a few months. However both Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem came to deliver, and one of them did. UFC 137 had BJ Penn and Nick Diaz scheduled to fight each other in a month and a half. Both of them delivered and fought the entire fight. Despite the mutual respect they both came to deliver.
So why did this fight lack the explosiveness that was supposed to be there. Jon Jones is unpredictable and complex as a fighter, and Rashad has shown a few different styles. With as much bad blood as there was supposed to be why did it fail to deliver? Respect cannot be an excuse.
“There was a lot of energy, and a lot of buzz for this fight.” Dana White said at the post-fight press conference. “I think this fight was good for Jon Jones, going five rounds.”
Of course giving credit to Rashad for being a tough fighter, but if you say your coming to fight then come to fight. “I had a couple of moments in the fight were I felt I could of taken advantage of the situation, but I didn’t do it. It was my mental block and I didn’t go out there and perform the way I wanted to.” Rashad talking about his performance.
“I learned I need to just trust my stuff a little more. And not be intimidated by people and what they have and just trust what I have.” Jones talking about what he learned from the fight. “I felt gangly and uncoordinated at some points and I know that came from slight insecurity in my attacks.”
So both fighters were off a beat and felt they didn’t perform well. The fight showed that very much, and we can credit a good amount of it to respect. However with Jones now facing Dan Henderson next he better not miss a step or get gangly because Hendo will not hesitate to capitalize. “I will finish Dan Henderson.” Jones referring to his thoughts on fighting Henderson. And if there is anything we know about Henderson is that he has Olympic worthy wrestling, knockout power, and one hell of a chin. With Jones healthy, we could be looking at a fight possibly in July or August. Hopefully this time, it wont look like a sparring session.