Defending champ Jon Jones thumps Rashad Evans at UFC 145
Atlanta, GA, United States (AHN Sports) – Though it lacked the dramatic endings of his recent bouts, Jon “Bones” Jones successfully defended his light heavyweight championship title against former-teammate and his toughest opponent to date, Rashad “Suga” Evans, in the main event at UFC 145 Saturday at Philips Arena.
It was a dramatic win against a former friend and mentor for Jones, who retained his title via a unanimous decision, 50-45, 49-46 and 49-46.
Jones, who was supposed to make his first title defense on Aug. 6, 2011 at UFC 133 against Evans, but was scratched due to the champ’s hand injury, was rocked in the first round but quickly made adjustments.
It was a daunting test for the heavily favoured Jones, who later indicated that his previous work with Rashad was constantly in the back of his head, making him hesitant.
The 24-year-old title holder, however, was constant in his attacks as he battled Evans, 33, who stunned Chuck Liddell in the same arena as a 2-to-1 underdog at UFC 88.
Ever wary of Evan’s potential, Jones made sure any sign of success from the challenger had to be addressed. Jones had to adapt to his foe’s style while using the techniques he is more comfortable fighting with.
Jones never allowed the dangerous Evans to get close enough to hit him with any force, unleashing thundering front kicks, elbows and head kicks — strikes which have carried him in previous clashes and endeared him to mixed martial arts enthusiasts.
Jones, the youngest UFC title holder in history, held Evans at bay by ripping leg kicks and explosive jabs.
Evans, who seemed dazed from the pounding and the fact that the fighter he is facing is not the same one he trained with at Greg Jackson’s, showed flashes of brilliance when he landed punches that appeared to shake the champion’s confidence.
In his efforts in launching for takedowns, Evans, a former UFC light heavyweight champion, was met with repeated elbow blows which resulted to a welt on his forehead.
Evans, who lost the light heavyweight crown to then undefeated Lyoto Machida at UFC 98, did force Jones to go the distance and fight a full five rounds, the first for Jones since UFC 94.
In the end, Jones’ sterling performance earned the nod of one judge in every round, while the other two saw Jones winning four out of five.
In the co-main event, rising welterweight fighter Rory MacDonald demolished Che Mills before earning a second-round TKO.
In the other cards Saturday: Ben Rothwell pummelled Brendan Schaub in the heavyweight bout; Michael McDonald upset Miguel Torres via KO in the first round in the bantamweight class; Eddie Yagin won a split decision with Mark Hominick in the featherweight class and in the lightweight clash, Mark Bocek took a unanimous decision over John Alessio.