The much anticipated fight between Rashad Evans and Jon Jones has really gotten feisty and personal. The two were training partners and tight friends but a title fight and the lure of your dreams get in the way sometimes.
For Jones and Evans it will all come to a head at UFC 145.
This grudge match will settle a score and shape the landscape of the light heavyweight division.
Here is why Jones will grab hold of the division and thrust his name amongst the greats of the sport.
1. Reach Advantage
Jon Jones was blessed with athletic advantages that many cannot match.
At 6’4 Jones maximizes his natural abilities by using a vast array of techniques which cause a problem for every fighter that he faces.
Jones has an 84.5 inch reach compared with Evans 75 inch reach. A nine and a half inch reach differential affords Jones many luxuries inside the Octagon. Jones can use kicks, punches to keep fighters back. The same will hold for true for his upcoming bout with Evans.
He will use his leg kicks to put a whipping on Evans’s legs.
During his title fight with Rampage Jackson, Jones kept a hand in Jackson’s face. That allowed him to gauge Jackson’s next attack and control the pace on the feet.
Sure, Evans is quicker than Jackson but I still expect him to receive a similar result.
2. Take Downs
Evans is the best wrestler in the light heavyweight division.
Under normal circumstances Evans would be selected to win the wrestling battle but Jones is a unique talent. As previously stated, Jones’s continued leg kicks will wear down Evans. It will effectively limit Evans’s power in his take down attempts.
3. Experience factor is overrated
Evans’s perceived huge advantage is between the ears.
He has been through emotional wars that were highly publicized and emerged the victor. This includes fights with title implications against guys like Jackson and Michael Bisping.
However this is not a knock on Jones. He is not a trash talker. He does not seek the mental advantage the way that Evans does.
It remains to be seen if Evans will get into Jones’s head.
I do not believe that Evans can accomplish this against a grounded athlete like Jones though.
Jones is not complacent. His work ethic is second to none.
Given that Jones works hard, this type of match is just the natural progression of a title fighter.
4. It’s Jones’s time
Life is about timing and capitalizing on opportunities.
It just seems as if the Jones experience will become a freight train that will run through the light heavyweight division.
There is nothing that Evans can do to stop it.
He will put up a valiant effort but Jones is a better fighter.
Expect Jones to win by split-decision.