UFC 145 Bones vs. Suga: The Complete Breakdown
The long-awaited and over-hyped feud fight between two former friends is finally a couple days away. I absolutely love the pre-fight buildup, but even I have to admit that I don't want to hear another word out of either one of the combatants.
It's time to put the words, insults and taunts to bed and find out which one of these Greg Jackson-bred fighters is the alpha dog that he says he is.
All beef and hype aside, there is no disputing that these two men are the undisputed best of the division and a very intriguing and exciting war will take place on Saturday night.
The following is a complete breakdown of the key elements in the fight and who has the edge going in.
The striking battle in this one is a pretty close matchup, with Jon "Bones'' Jones taking the edge in diversity and reach and "Suga'' Rashad Evans having a bit of a power edge.
In terms of straight hands, Evans can hang on an equal level with Jones. Evans is also as good with his kicks. The Jones difference comes in all the other weapons on a man's body like the elbows and knees.
The dangerous elbows and knees that Jones can get you with and the reach and angles that he throws them from will give Evans doubts and fear in this one and make him want to take this fight to the ground.
Despite the fact that both men can do it all, wrestling is Evans' game and the one area where he should have a distinct advantage over Jones. I believe that this element will really be the key to the fight. Evans' ability to get in tight and use his wrestling will be his only real path to victory.
Evans has a much more accomplished wrestling resume, but I disregard that and look more to the cage wrestling that each of these men have displayed in their careers.
If Suga can defend submissions and dictate the wrestling element of the fight, he may be able to end up on top position on Jones. That is where Evans will be most dangerous.
Three of Jones' last four wins have come by submission over elite-level opponents. Meanwhile, we haven't seen Rashad Evans submit anyone in the UFC. I don't doubt that Evans has the skills to do it, but he has not used them as his real blueprint to victory.
On the other hand, if Jones doesn't like what he sees in the stand-up realm of the fight, he quickly switches gears and looks to throw you to the ground and tap you out. He doesn't hesitate to make you defend his submissions, and with his lanky limb leverage, Evans will need to be sharp with every angle to make sure Jones doesn't get him in a point-of-no-return situation.
Intangibles: Game Plan, Conditioning, Motivation
Leading into a fight, the intangibles are always a major factor, yet they are extremely difficult to gauge. You only know the state of each fighter's intangibles if you spend time around them. But here is my read on some of them:
This one goes right to the heart of the beef in this fight. Jon Jones has Greg Jackson in his corner and Rashad Evans doesn't. This tips the game-plan scale in Jones' favor. Jackson is notorious for his game-planning.
Jackson will also give Jones an edge in conditioning with his super camp training methods in New Mexico. The naturally tough climate and team-pushing concept will have Jones in great mental and physical shape on Saturday. Jones has one of the game's best mental approaches.
Evans had to start over leading up to this fight with a new camp, new home and altogether new approach since leaving Jackson's camp last year. Evans grew up training under Jackson's guidance, so there has to be some mental and physical doubt in his head going into this fight.
The motivational edge often goes to the fighter who is not on top and Evans should reap the benefits here. He wants to be where Jones is now and is highly motivated to get that title back. He feels he has been wronged in this scenario and has redemption on his mind.