Jones and Evans set for intriguing duel

Jon Jones is the man, but the power of Rashad Evans will make for an intriguing UFC 145.


It's hard to pick apart Jones' game and find a flaw, or a weakness. Jones, the UFC light heavyweight champion, is 15-1 and would be 16-0 if not for a disqualification against Matt Hamill that he didn't deserve.

But the one thing Jones hasn't seen in his brief but highly successful mixed martial arts career is someone with knockout power who is also extremely quick. That, though, is what he will face when he meets Rashad Evans for the title Saturday in the main event of UFC 145 at Philips Arena in Atlanta.

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, whom Jones submitted at UFC 135 on Sept. 24, has one-punch knockout power, but lacks top-level speed and quickness. Evans brings both. He's got fast hands and fast feet as well as exceptional power.

"Jones is looking very good, but Rashad is fast, man, and once he hurts you, he's on you," former champion Tito Ortiz said. "I'd like to see Rashad use his wrestling and takedowns and really mix it up."

Jackson, who lost a unanimous decision to Evans at UFC 114 in 2010, concurred. No one has really come close to beating Jones, and Jackson doesn't think Evans will do it, but he concedes that Evans has the style to give Jones fits.

"Rashad has to go for it right from the start, for real," Jackson said. "Rashad can't play on the outside. You can't fight no Jon Jones on the outside, believe me. Rashad is fast and can surprise you. He surprised me by faking a takedown and hitting me with a right hand, which kind of stunned me. I think he can do that to Jon Jones, but he has to do it right away, because the more time you give Jones, the harder it is to set him up for a punch."

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