Saturday night’s much-anticipated grudge match between JON JONES and RASHAD EVANS didn’t quite live up to the hype but as anyone who follows MMA fighting is finding out, Jon “Bones” Jones is directly the reason for that: Dude is making mincemeat of his competition, making former champions look like, well, former champions.
Jones scored an unanimous decision over Evans in UFC 145 to retain his UFC light heavyweight title. That’s Shogun Rua, Rampage Jax, Lyoto Machida and now Rashad Evans. Another one bites the dust.
Both Evans and Jones entered the cage in cat-like squat but that was where the similarities ended. Jones got a leg up on his competition all night, pounding Evans with sweeps and elbows until the challenger finally wore out.
“It’s definitely my most satisfying victory,” Jones said after reducing Evans to a mere shell of himself. “I did a lot of things I didn’t plan. I didn’t want to make any mistakes. I didn’t feel the cleanest, but who I beat, it was very important to me.”
What was most important in this fight was the way that Jones neutralized Evans. Rashad didn’t even attempt a takedown of Jones until the fourth and final round. That was due to Jones’s tremendous defensive kicking abilities and Rashad’s reluctance to want to eat a Bones Jones elbow in the process.
“He had those sneaky elbows that kept coming in,” Evans said. “I played the wrong game.”
Indeed. After measuring each other in the first round, Jones went on the attack in the second, buckling Evans with an uppercut. Evans recovered but later was rocked by a right hand then a left hook as Jones dominated the round.
Evans stood firm and landed his best punch of the fight in the third, an overhand right that scored but the champ shook it off without issue. Jones’s kicking game then began to wear on Rashad as Bones bombarded him with a flying knee then a body kick that wobbled the challenger.
By the final round, Evans seemed to realize he was a defeated man and resorted to finally trying to takedown Jones. Jones thwarted every attempt, however, and instead grabbed Evans’s neck while introducing Rashad to a knee to the body.
Although Jones failed to put Rashad away (tough to bring down a bull), the champ did succeed in piling up points (50-45, 49-46, 49-46) and managed to land his only takedown of Evans with a lunging strike in the closing minute.
“He was pretty crafty and tricky, stuff like that,” Evans said afterward. “Give him props, he kept me on my toes.”
Clearly, Jon Jones has every potential UFC challenger on their toes…and biting fingernails as well.