After last Saturday Night's match-up between two former light heavyweight champions, the UFC's 205lb division continues to be the most exciting weight class in the organization.
In the last 3 years the Light Heavyweight belt has changed hands 5 times since 2007. In fact, last week marked the 3 year anniversary that the title started swapping hands at such a rapid rate.
It all started at UFC 71, where the last reigning champion, Chuck Liddell, was knocked out by Rampage Jackson. Since then, Rampage & Lyoto Machida have been the only fighters to successfully defend the title, even if it was only one fight each.
So now we have UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans. The lead up and hype for this fight had us on the edge of our seats for well over a year, and almost didn't happen since most of us thought that Rampage was going to run off and get all "Hollywood" on us after filming the upcoming A-Team movie.
In my opinion the fight went as expected. Rashad used his speed and wrestling to take Jackson down while avoiding any threats during their stand up exchanges. Although the fight was not as exciting as most fans would have liked, it was entertaining enough. I do feel that Rampage looked a bit stiff, which could be rooted in the fact that this is his first fight since last March.
UFC President, Dana White mentioned that the winner of this fight would be granted a title shot against the current champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, so Evans now has a chance to reclaim his belt. However, I think that this is where the game of hot potato stops when it comes to the title changing hands. After Shogun's more than dominant performance in his rematch against Lyoto Machida, I think that Evans will have his hands full. Here is a breakdown:
I would have to give the edge to Rashad. The guy is very explosive and knows how to avoid taking too much damage. However, Shogun is no slouch in this department either.
Shogun gets this one. His aggressive standup was more than a handful for Lyoto Machida, who everyone believed to be unbeatable.I think that if he uses the same tactic on Evans, another knockout will be the result.
While both fighters are highly skilled, Shogun has a bit more weapons in his arsenal than Rashad. Rua can destroy you with both his hands & feet, not to mention he's also a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt with a high submission IQ. The man they call "Suga" Rashad will too often expend a ton of energy trying to take his opponent down and burn out before being effective on the ground.
With all these factors in his favor, Shogun will be the one to hold on to the 205 belt for a very long time or at least until Anderson Silva moves into the weight class for good.