Finally, the best marketing fight since Tito/Shamrock I willtake place as defending light heavyweight champion Jon Jones takes on formerchampion Rashad Evans Saturday night at UFC 145. UFC 145 takes place at the Phillips Arena inAtlanta with a live pay-per-view broadcast for the main card, Facebook and FXfor the prelims.
In the archives are articles discussing Evans’ split with Jackson’s MixedMartial Arts over Jon Jones joining the team as well as the first two scheduledmatchups between these two (August and December last year) until injuriescancelled both fights. Jones has been ona tear since entering the UFC with his one loss against Matt Hamill being dueto disqualification in a fight he was winning up until that point. Jones took the title from Mauricio Rua lastMarch and defended it against former champions Quinton Jackson and mostrecently Lyoto Machida. Evans won thetitle in December 2008 to Lyoto Machida, Evans’ only loss to date. Since the loss to Machida Evans has gone 4-0,most recently with a unanimous decision over Phil Davis. This fight has more of an unknown mentalangle with some speculating Rashad is more emotional carrying the hurt from theseparation with Jackson’s while others say the “big brother” effect couldinfluence Jones. Either way this is abattle of an unpredictable and explosive current champion against a solidwrestling-based, experienced former champion with much improved standup.
In a co-main event Rory MacDonald takes on Che Mills. MacDonald’s only loss in his 12-1 recordstill earned him “Fight of the Night” bonus against Carlos Condit whichMacDonald followed p with a decision over Nate Diaz and a TKO of Mike Pyle,Mills is on a five-win streak with his most recent being his UFC debut againstChris Cope.
Also on the main card are former IFL champion Ben Rothwell, former WEC championMiguel Torres, former TKO champion Mark Hominick, and former KOTC champion JohnAlessio. Alessio fought in UFC 26, 60,and Fight Night 7 but has been absent from the Octagon for five years untildefeating Ryan Healy in Score Fighting Series just one month ago (seearchives). Hominick after losing a titleshot picked up another loss but always puts on good fights. Rothwell has only been fighting once a yearand is 1-2 in the UFC coming off a loss to Mark Hunt, his being on the maincard is a bit of a question mark. Torresis 2-1 in the UFC coming off a win over Nick Pace.
Prelims on Facebook:
FW: Marcus Brimage vs. Maximo Blanco
WW: Keith Wisniewski vs. Chris Clements
Prelims on FX:
LW: Mac Danzig vs. Efrain Escudero
LW: John Makdessi vs. Anthony Njokuani
WW: Matt Brown vs. Stephen Thompson
HW: Travis Browne vs. Chad Griggs
LW: Mark Bocek vs. John Alessio
FW: Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin
BW: Miguel Torres vs. Michael McDonald
HW: Brendan Schaub vs. Ben Rothwell
WW: Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills
LHW title: Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans