Jon Jones maybe well on his way to become one of the best Light Heavyweight fighter off all time, but standing in front of him tonight is a former training partner and number one contender Rashad Evans. The two dislike each other and both vow to shut the other up after their fight. To me the drama between Evans and the champ seems contrived. Either way the hype is working and lots of people can’t wait to see this fight.
Evans has his hands full in this fight. Jones has great striking and his wrestling is solid. It’s difficult to see Rashad Evans winning this fight. Though his chances are slim Evans will need to take the fight where he is at his best which is his wrestling. Evans would need to stifle the champ by closing the distance and force it into a grappling match. There’s nothing more tiring than a wrestling match. Evans can tire Jones into the championship rounds and try to put him away with this haymaker or grind him out on points. I know, it’s easier said than done.
Miguel Torres beats Michael McDonald
Mac Danzig beats Efrain Escudero
Brendan Schaub beats Ben Rothwell
Chris Clements beats Keith Wisiewski
Anthony Njokuani beats John Madessi
Stephen Thompson beats Matt Brown
Mark Hominick beats Eddie Yagin
Rory McDonald beats Che Mills
Jon Jones beats Rashad Evans
Last time I saw Rashad Evans and Tito Ortiz fight it was at the Arco Arena in Sacramento at UFC 73. The fight unfortunately ended in a draw. Since the fight Rashad Evans has put a string of wins and eventually captured the Light Heavyweight title. Ortiz hasn’t had much luck. With plaguing injury and poor performances many are surprised he’s still fighting. But his last fight against Ryan Bader proved that he still got some fight left in him.
Evans is still in the midst of a burgeoning career whereas Ortiz is winding his down for retirement. Evans is very much like Tito in his style and strength and in this fight Ortiz will have a very difficult time battling his younger foe.
Rashad Evans beats Tito Ortiz
Vitor Belfort beats Yoshihiro Akiyama
Brian Ebersole beats Dennis Hallman
Costantinos Philippou beats Jorge Rivera
Rory MacDonald beats Mike Pyle
Alexander Gustafsson beats Matt Hamill
Chad Mendes beats Rani Yahya
Mike Pierce beats Johny Hendricks
Mike Brown beats Nam Pham
It’s the first UFC event of the new year. Rashad Evans and Thiago Silva are fighting back towards title contention again, and and to revenge a common loss from the current Light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.
Thiago Silva beats Rashad Evans
Dustin Hazelette beats Paul Daley
Joe Lauzon beats Sam Stout
Duane Ludwig beats Jim Miller
Gilbert Yvel beats Junior Dos Santos
Martin Kamppman beats Jacob Volkmann
I’m posting this a little late. I’m on my Blackberry, so I didn’t have the option to add the UFC image.
It’s the end of the year and we get to have one bad-ass fight card. Having two title fights and a highly anticipated grudge match between two very exciting fighters is a great way to cap off 2008.
Let’s start with the Evans v. Forrest. These guys came from obscurity to highly touted fighters in their division. Say what you want about these TUF alumni, but they proved that they deserved to be in this position with every fight they won. This fight proposes an interesting match up. Evans is a great wrestler that has developed into a striking machine and coming from a Greg Jackson camp only adds to his credibility. On the other side of the octagon Forrest is a machine that is almost unbreakable. His impressive wins over Shogun and Rampage catapulted him to the top of the rankings.
Evans has proved he has knock out power and Forrest is as well rounded as a fighter can get. But I see Forrest giving Evans his first loss. Forrest has been in hard fought-battles and came out as the victor. Forrest’s reach advantage and technical striking will keep Evans at bay. As the fight progresses to the later rounds Forrest will have the cardio and experience to shutdown him down.
A grudge match that has been in the making for half a decade is one of the most anticipated fights this year. Rampage will get the opportunity to avenge his two losses from Wanderlei Silva, a fighter who has given Rampage two of the worst beatings in his career. But since those losses Rampage has reinvented himself and in the process won the Light Heavyweight title and defended it against Dan Henderson.
Wanderlei has the mental edge coming into the fight because he has already beaten Rampage twice. Rampage ditched is old trainer and opt to train with Wolf’s Lair. That should definite help his game, but it won’t be enough to stop the Axe Murderer.
Mir and Noguiera’s title fight will be a true battle of attrition. They are both seasoned veterans who had a debilitating accident in their past and has come back against the odds to title contention. Before Mir’s motorcycle accident he was considered one of the top heavyweights in the world, but his road back in the UFC was less than stellar to put it mildly. Noguiera has been in it with the best there is in MMA. His experience and list of victory easily puts him in the hall of fame of the sport.
Mir has his young age to his advantage, where as Noguiera’s long history of being in those brutal battles may have taken its toll. Noguiera is not has fast and nimble as he was 2 years ago. It was obvious in his Heath Herring fight and Tim Sylvia fight. I see Mir coming in and throwing lots of kick to slow Nog down. Mir will keep the fight standing as long as possible and will hold Nog on the ground for a decision win.
Forrest Griffin beats Rashad Evans
Frank Mir beats Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera
Wanderlei Silva beats Quinton Jackson
Cheick Kongo beats Mustafa Al Turk
CB Dollaway beats Mike Massenzio
Yushin Okami beats Dean Lister
Matt Hamill beats Andy Reese
Ryo Chonan beats Brad Blackburn
Antoni Hardonk beats Mike Wessel
Dan Everson beats Patrick Barry
Chuck Liddell is back. After recovering from a torn hamstring he will be pitted against Rashad Evans. Evans is undefeated but he hasn’t face competition of the likes of Liddell. But Rashad does have a good chance of pulling the win. Evans trains with Greg Jackson’s camp and they produce bad ass fighters. Keith Jardine came from Jackson and he was able to beat Liddell with an effective game plan. Evan will need to mix up the fight if he wants to win throwing punches and kicks to setup the takedowns. Liddell is known to be a tough guy to takedown, but it’s not impossible. As for Chuck he’ll need to keep the fight on the feet and keep his distance.
Rich Franklin is moving back up to 205 and he’ll be facing Matt Hamill. Hamill is strong, but his conditioning isn’t the best and I think Franklin will get the win by the end of the third round by stoppage. A fight that I’m looking forward to see is the Matt Brown vs Dong Hyun Kim. Kim is a dynamic fighter whose exciting to watch. Matt Brown will have his hands full. Luckily for us this fight has been bumped up to the main card due to Karo Paryisan’s bout being injured.
Dan Henderson will be fighting Rousimar Palhares, a fighter who has shown to be very dangerous on the ground. Palhares defeated a very game veteran, Ivan Salavrry, in a quick first round submission. Henderson needs to keep the fight on his fight and use his Greco Roman wrestling control Palhares. This is an intersting fight and it can go either way.
Ryo Chonan beats Roan Carneiro
Kurt Pellegrino beats Thiago Tavares (upset)
Jason MacDonald beats Jason Lambert
Tim Boetsch best Michael Patt
Dong Hyun Kim beats Matt Brown
Nate Marquardt beats Martin Kampmann
Dan Henderson beats Rousimar Palhares
Rich Franklin beats Matt Hamill
Chuck Liddell beats Rashad Evans