Jones has yet to find anyone who can challenge him inside the octagon. In 2011 alone he knocked off four of the best light heavyweight fighters in the world (Ryan Bader, Mauricio Rua, Quinton Jackson and Lyoto Machida).
Evans has been waiting for a title shot since defeating Jackson at UFC 114 in May 2010. Injuries and timing have kept him from this moment, but now he has his chance to shine against the fighter he mentored while the two were in Greg Jackson's camp.
Where: Phillips Arena in Atlanta, GA
When: Saturday, April 21 at 10:00 p.m. EST
Watch: Facebook undercard fights at 7:00 p.m. EST, preliminary fights at 8:00 p.m. EST on FX, main card fights at 10 p.m. ET on pay-per-view; online pay-per-view streaming (must pay $44.99) at UFC.tv, Yahoo! Sports, UStream, Android or iPhone.
Light Heavyweight Championship: Jon Jones (c) vs. Rashad Evans
Welterweight Bout: Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills
Heavyweight Bout: Brendan Schaub vs. Ben Rothwell
Bantamweight Bout: Miguel Torres vs. Michael McDonald
Featherweight Bout: Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin
Lightweight Bout: Mark Bocek vs. John Alessio
Preliminary Card (FX)
Heavyweight Bout: Travis Browne vs. Chad Griggs
Welterweight Bout: Matt Brown vs. Stephen Thompson
Lightweight Bout: John Makdessi vs. Anthony Njokuani
Lightweight Bout: Mac Danzig vs. Efrain Escudero
Preliminary Card (Facebook)
Welterweight Bout: Keith Wisniewski vs. Chris Clements
Featherweight Bout: Marcus Brimage vs. Maximo Blanco
Jones' Keys to Victory
Use size and length to keep Evans down; don't try to outwrestle Evans
Everyone knows about the amazing size and length of Jones. He uses his 84.5-inch reach to attack opponents who try to dance around him.
In addition to understanding the advantage Jones has with his size, he uses it to try moves and strikes that no one else can.
As long as Jones doesn't try to prove himself as a wrestler against a superb wrestler like Evans, he is going to be difficult to beat.
Evans' Keys to Victory
Use wrestling to frustrate Jones early; try to time strikes when Jones leaves himself open.
Evans is a smart fighter. He understands that he can't compete with Jones from a pure athleticism standpoint.
His best chance to walk away with the light heavyweight championship is to bring back his wrestling, which he has put on the back burner lately to prove himself as a striker, in order to keep Jones at bay.
When Evans does try to punch, he has to be careful. If he comes out swinging, Jones is going to destroy him. Rashad needs to keep his ego in check.
What They Are Saying
Evans has been handling all the promotion and talking leading up to this fight, though you might not know there has been any since most of it is happening on the little-known Fuel TV network.
Jones has tried to remain civil, but there have been moments when he appears to be falling into Evans' trap of trash talk.
"I think Rashad took my interview — me saying I'd never want to have to fight him — and he used that to give himself a reason to challenge me for the belt. Our agreement was to not fight each other on any accord, by any means. The only thing I said was I would never want to fight my teammate, and the only way it was possible was if I was absolutely going to lose my job over it. That's a pretty major extreme. But he took that and found a reason to challenge me for the belt, which totally disrespected everything we stood for, everything our team stood for, everything that me and Rashad agreed to."
Undercard Fight to Watch: Miguel Torres vs. Michael McDonald
While the bantamweight division is very top-heavy with Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber, the division desperately needs depth to get legitimacy as a drawing card in UFC.
Torres and McDonald have a great chance to steal this particular show because of their styles and amazing speed inside the octagon.
Torres has a huge advantage in experience, with 44 professional fights. But McDonald has proven that he is not going to be intimidated by the stage and spectacle of UFC.
Whoever wins this fight could conceivably be in line for a title shot later on this summer.
Main Event Prediction
Evans needs to win this fight. He is doing a lot of talking leading up to it; he feels slighted by his former best friend, and this is his chance to prove he is still The Man.
Unfortunately, Jones has reached a point where you can't predict him to lose. It is just something you have to see to believe.
Jones wins via third-round KO
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