UFC 145 boasts one of the most anticipated main events in UFC History as Jon Jones faces former training partner Rashad Evans. Over the past year, Jones has rolled his way through the light heavyweight division and up MMA pound-for-pound rankings. Evans has taken a back seat to his former teammate while he recovered from a knee injury.
Evans was forced into a 14-month layoff after his victory over Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in May of 2010. In August 2011, Evans defeated Tito Ortiz, and in January of 2012, Evans defeated Phil Davis via unanimous decision to earn a title shot at Jones.
Full breakdown of the main event:
Striking: Jones is clearly one of the best strikers in the light heavyweight divisions. His diverse array of punches, knees and kicks keep opponents off balance and confused during fights. Jones outlands opponents by 2.4 strikes per minute, meaning he lands 2.4 more strikes every minutes than he absorbs. Jones lands 53% of his strikes to the head, 25.4% to the body and 21.5% to the legs. Evans' 66.7% striking defense is third best in light heavyweight history. Evans has a career striking accuracy of 39.5%. Clearly both men are superb strikers, Jones has proved it against Shogun and Jackson, and Evans' KO of Chuck Liddell at UFC 98 is one of the most brutal ever. Advantage: Jones
Ground: Jon Jones is impossible to take down. Seriously. He has 100% take down defense, meaning that Jones has never been taken down in a fight. Jones also has the best takedown accuracy in the division's history. Jones has a takedown defense of 63.6%, and he has 21 career takedowns. Jones was a wrestling champion in high school. Evans was an All-American wrestler at Michigan State. Every opponent that Evans has tried to take down, he has taken down. Evans averages 4.32 takedowns per 15 minutes in the Octagon. Both men bring strong credentials into the ground game. The thing is, we have never seen Jones on his back in a bad position. Advantage: Evans.
Mental: There is no doubt that Evans wants to win this fight more than Jones does. Even though both men are competitors and both men come to win each time they step in the Octagon. Evans is fueled by revenge and he has said that defeating Jones is more important than winning the belt. Evans seems focused on his goal and he seems hungrier than Jones for this fight. Advantage: Evans