The upcoming confrontation between UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones and challenger “Sugar” Rashad Evans may be this generation’s equivalent to, well, there may be no equivalent. With the personal history between these fighters have with each other, their upcoming title fight will be epic.
The fighters are former best friends who used to train together but were inevitably put in the spot they’re in. The problem was that they were both in the same weight class and that they are both extremely skilled in mixed-martial arts. It was naïve to think that the two would never cross paths inside the Octagon.
Evans has had his time as the champion of the light-heavyweight division. His quick ascension through some of the UFC’s toughest fighters quickly made Evans a title contender. Evans soon captured the title in December 2008, when he defeated then champion Forrest Griffin.
However, Evans’ time as champion was short-lived. In May 2009, Evans faced off against the number one contender Lyoto Machida. The fight ended with Machida capturing the light-heavyweight title via first round knockout, handing Evans the first loss of his career.
Evans has fought hard to get back into the title picture ever since the loss. Though he was next in line to fight for the title, Evans eventually took on another fight due to an injury that occurred to then champion Mauricio Rua.
While Evans fought hard to come back, Jones was fighting just as hard to build his legend. Like Evans, Jones experienced a quick rise to stardom in the UFC. His opponents weren’t slouches either. Jones took on very well-respected fighters in his division and dominated them all. His only loss came when he threw an illegal elbow to his opponent and was disqualified. Jones was undoubtedly winning before that point.
After the loss, Jones pulled off three consecutive victories to put himself in line for a title shot. Evans had suffered an injury during his training camp, which took him out of the title picture for over a year. Thus, Jones was granted a shot at Rua for the title.
Jones was as impressive as ever in the title fight. He was clearly the more comfortable fighter in the Octagon. Jones’ long arms and legs made it tough for his opponents to adjust to his reach advantage. Rua could not deal with the onslaught of Jones and eventually lost the title by TKO.
With the title now around his waist, Jones is determined to prove that he is better than his one time friend and training partner. Evans is out to prove that he is still a title worthy contender and capable of being the first guy to really challenge and beat Jones.
It makes for a really great fight and atmosphere when two fighters legitimately dislike each other and are fighting for the world title. Not only does the Evans vs. Jones fight have these two aspects, but it also has the rare angle in which these two fighters were genuine friends at one point.