Over the next few months, expect a flood of UFC matches as the biggest MMA company in the world ramps up their schedule after a slow start to the year. It all starts this weekend, with UFC 145 and the return of UFC Lightheavyweight Champion Jon Jones, as he defends his title against former champion Rashad Evans. The line for this matchup is a remarkable -505 on Jones, with the comeback for Evans at +405. It appears to be a sign of respect from the betting public, as Jones has been almost infallible in his rise to UFC superstardom. There really is no other way to go on this one, or is there?
The UFC has seen Jones dominate their entire roster of upper echelon Lightheavyweights, as former champions Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida and Mauricio Rua have all folded in front of the young champion.
The advantage for Evans here is that because they were former training partners, they have been around each other while preparing for matches. They have rolled together, practiced and felt each other’s strength, their way of moving. Jones is very unorthodox, and he has not shown a lot of bad habits in his fights. But in training, could Evans have picked up on some tendencies?
Because this is what Evans is going to have to do – he is going to have to come out of the chute early and hurt Jones. Observers say that Jones may have lost the opening round against Machida, but let’s face it – if you want to give that round to Machida that is fine, but it was a slow, strategic round and Machida never was close to finishing the fight or hurting Jones.
And really, that is the only questionable round in his UFC stint, Jones has won every other round in his career!
Well, judging by the lines on this fight, no one thinks Evans can do it. Evans is an explosive athlete, and having fought the early part of his career at heavyweight, perhaps Evans can break through and hurt Jones. However as a mainly one punch, big punch headhunter, Evans is going to have a lot of reach and length and ‘bones’ to overcome if he is going to land a fight altering shot. And most people are betting against him.
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