UFC 145 Las Vegas Odds: Jon Jones Big Favorite vs Rashad Evans
Saturday, April 21, 2012
by Bovada Sportsbook
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones had arguably the best year of any MMA fighter ever in 2011. He won four fights, including beating three former UFC champions, to become the organization’s youngest title-holder.
But perhaps Jones’ toughest test to date comes Saturday night at UFC 145 in Atlanta when he faces former friend and sparring partner Rashad Evans. Jones is the -450 favorite with Evans at +300 on Bovada Sportsbook’s UFC 145 odds.
Jones and Evans are former friends and training partners. However, their relationship fell apart when Evans was injured last February while training for a title shot at UFC 128 against then-champion Mauricio Rua. Jones replaced Evans and stopped Rua in the second round to win the title. Evans had said he would never fight his good friend Jones, but after beating Rua Jones said he would get into the octagon if UFC boss Dana White ordered him to. That offended Evans and he left for another training facility in Florida.
Jones and Evans have had a very public war of words since. "This fight, it has been referred to on several occasions as the Ali vs. Frazier of our sport and of our time," Jones recently said. He and Evans are very familiar with one another in a way that few opponents can imagine. Evans would take on the role of Jones’ opponent during training camp and vice versa.
Some consider Jones (15-1) the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. The 24-year-old has defended his light-heavyweight belt twice with stoppages of former champions Quinton Jackson and Lyoto Machida. Evans (17-1-1) beat former champion Tito Ortiz on Aug. 6 and previously unbeaten contender Phil Davis on Jan. 28 to get his title shot. Evans and Jones have fought three common opponents: Both have beaten Jackson and Stephan Bonnar. But Evans suffered a 2009 knockout loss to Machida, whom Jones beat via submission last December.
Jones will have a five-inch height advantage and a nearly 10-inch reach advantage. Evans, 32, has landed 48 takedowns landed in his 14 UFC fights, the most in the organization's history among light heavyweights and tied for sixth place among all fighters. But Jones has never been taken down in his 10-fight UFC career and has been on his back for just 12 seconds all-time.
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