UFC on Fox 2: 10 Reasons Fans Should Root for Rashad Evans to Win

Kyle SymesCorrespondent IIIJanuary 27, 2012

UFC on Fox 2: 10 Reasons Fans Should Root for Rashad Evans to Win

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    Since coming to the UFC on The Ultimate Fighter 2, Rashad Evans has never been a fan favorite. His mini-feud with Matt Hughes immediately put him a negative light for most MMA fans.

    Throughout the years, Evans' ego has seemingly grown and grown as he's had quite a successful career. His growing confidence combined with defeating several fan favorites has made Evans public enemy number one at times.

    However, in his current quest for a title, it seems as if the fan support is firmly behind Evans compared to Jon Jones. For those fans still on the fence about the issue, here's 10 reasons why you should be rooting for "Suga" to pull out a victory at the UFC on Fox 2 event.

Phil Davis Isn't Ready for Jon Jones

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    Phil Davis is the definition of a blue-chip prospect. At 9-0, he's beaten quite a handful of good fighters.

    But he simply isn't ready for someone of the caliber of Jon Jones.

    He's looked impressive thus far in his career and there's no doubting his wrestling ability. Where there are doubts is with his striking. It's improving but it's not good enough to counter a two-three inch height advantage and a near six inch read advantage.

    Besides the reach disadvantage, Jones has shown to have incredible strength and would also nullify one of Davis' biggest advantages at 205 pounds: his size.

    Does Davis present some stylistic problems for Jones? Absolutely. Is now the time for Mr. Wonderful to challenge for a world title? Not at the moment.

Imperial Athletics Isn't a "Mega Gym"

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    The MMA scene, in particular the UFC is full of fighters that come from mega-camps. Gyms like Jackson's MMA, AKA and Tri-Star all have a large handful of fighters that compete under the same banner.

    Imperial Athletics is different in that it's new and not considered a mega-gym.

    By Rashad winning, it will show other fighters that they don't need to join a gym like Jackson's to succeed. If more fighters branch out instead of being under one roof, it would lead to less "friends not wanting to fight friends" complication issues with match making.

One Mega Matchup Needs to Happen

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    If Chael Sonnen loses earlier in the night, it means fans will have to go without the rematch of decade between Anderson Silva and Sonnen.

    Not that I'm picking Michael Bisping to win, but it is entirely possible for "The Count" to pull off the upset. Should that happen, fans should be cheering for Rashad Evans to defeat Phil Davis.

    A Evans-Jon Jones matchup needs to happen in order to get some closure to the rivalry. It also needs to happen to help boost the UFC's PPV draws.

    The UFC isn't hurting for money by any means, but with their top draw out until later this year and their second biggest draw retiring, a Evans-Jones match could make one into a superstar.

Rashad Evans Is a Better Salesman Than Phil Davis

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    I like Phil Davis as much as the next guy, but he's simply too nice to be a good hype man right now. He doesn't need to be disrespectful and say he's going to stomp over his opponent, but a little confidence would be nice.

    If guys like Chael Sonnen and Frank Mir have proven anything as far as fight promoting goes, the more of an ego you have, the more PPV money you make.

    The MMA community would be interested in a Davis-Jon Jones match, but it would be a tough sell job on Davis' part. At least Evans will trash talk the champion enough to make even the most cynical fan consider tuning in.

Rashad Evans Would Save Dan Henderson from Looking Like "Rampage" Jackson

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    Other than Rashad Evans, Dan Henderson is the most credible challenger to Jon Jones' title. But I really don't care to see Hendo vs. Jones. Honestly, if you want to know what that fight would look like, just watch Jones vs. "Rampage."

    Henderson would likely use his wrestling more than Jackson did, but Henderson is almost as one-dimensional as "Rampage." Sure his patented "H-Bomb" could turn out the lights on any given night, but would Hendo be able to land it against the much larger Jones?

    We've already seen Jones dismantle a one-dimensional fighter in "Rampage," do we really need to see an encore presentation?

We Finally Get to See Who's Right

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    If Rashad Evans can defeat Phil Davis, we will finally have answer to who's right between Evans and Jon Jones.

    Evans claims that he would own Jones in sparring which has lead many fans to put all their anti-Jones eggs into "Suga's" basket.

    Jones counters by saying Evans refers to a single day in practice and lives off of it every day.

    It's kind of like when Chuck Liddell fought Tito Ortiz and the arguments about who bested who behind the scenes in the gym.

There's a Lack of Matchups for Rashad Evans If He Loses

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    Looking at possible matchups if Rashad Evans were to lose, most of them aren't all that enticing. Who knows when Mauricio "Shogun" Rua will be ready for another bout which leaves a rematch with Lyoto Machida as the main possible fight.

    It would be interesting to see how Evans would perform if he came into the fight with a proper game plan, but with Machida going 1-3 in his last four fights, Evans stands to gain very little from beating Machida.

    The other possible matchups for Evans coming off a loss is either a rematch against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson or to face the loser of Alexander Gustafsson-Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

    Neither of those matchup would give Evans much momentum for a return to title contention either. Evans truly would be in "No Man's Land" if he doesn't get his hand raised in Chicago.

Phil Davis Can Afford to Make a Comeback, Rashad Evans Cannot

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    If Rashad Evans were to lose (depending on the manner), he'd likely be two-three fights removed from a title shot. Not that Evans seems to be close to retiring, he's been in the MMA game for quite some time and his body may not allow him another run on the comeback trail.

    Look how long it's taken him to get back into the title picture since losing his belt to Lyoto Machida. Some of it isn't his fault but regardless, it's taken a lot of time to get back on top of the mountain.

    Davis' career is still in its infancy and a loss to him wouldn't derail his career outlook all that much. It's not like a loss to arguably the second best 205 pound fighter in the world is anything to cry about either.

Rashad Evans Has Suffered Enough

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    Regardless of how you feel about the man, it's clear that Rashad Evans has had a lot of bad things happen in his career the past few years.

    It started with him losing his title to Lyoto Machida in 2009. His bad luck continued with an ugly win over Thiago Silva that set up a matchup with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. That fight was pushed back by delays and Jackson's retirement.

    Another ugly (or tactful depending on who you ask) win over "Rampage" set him up for a title shot. With one knee injury, Evans saw not only his title aspirations be put on hold, but the man he felt he could trust was all of a sudden not in his corner.

    Evans has seen someone else come into the gym and take his spot as one of the top dogs and also walked into his title shot.

    "Suga" has managed to stay upbeat through all the setbacks and he deserves to have at least one moment of glory.

MMA Doesn't Need a Mayweather-Pacquiao Situation

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    One of the selling points the Dana White likes to make when talking about MMA is that they give fans the fights they want to see. For the most part this is true as we rarely go without seeing a fight that's in popular demand.

    This isn't the case with Jon Jones and Rashad Evans. The two have engaged in a war of words in the midst of two fight cancellations that could prove to be the biggest money producing PPV of 2012 if Silva-Sonnen doesn't come together.

    We don't need this rivalry to continue going on without both men settling their differences inside the Octagon. With an Evans win, we can finally get some closure on the matter.