Great performance from Rashad, he looked reinvented against Tito but I ignored it for the fact it was against Tito. Reality is, Evans has matured a lot, refined as a fighter, and is very confident in every aspect of his game.
Rashad is a big threat right now, and this is coming from a complete Evans-non-believer. Of course he's always been competitive, he was Champ, but I've always been underwhelmed by the guy.
Say what you will about Evans not finishing Davis, what I saw was a complete, modern MMA fighter dominating for 25 minutes. Coincidentally, some of the problems presented by Davis which Rashad conquered, are also attributes of Jon Jones. Can't wait for that fight.
Well said, mate. Phil Davis has a very similar style to Jones. He is more or less a less realised version of Jones without the killer instinct smoothness in strikes and confidence. Davis is a potential GREAT fighter. In fact, as far as grappling/wrestling goes, I say Davis has the edge on Bones and look what Rashad did to him.
I can understand Bones being a favourite having beaten the top dogs of 205, but Rashad is by far his equal. If you look at Jones' last 4 opponents in his incredible 2011 year, Rashad possess the strongest attributes of all of them, and in a few cases, is better at implementing those attributes than those guys.
Rashad has significantly better wrestling than Ryan Bader. He is just as good a grappler as Mauricio Rua, he has a more advanced and diverse boxing game and shares his one punch knockout power of Rampage and he can play the elusive counter fighter like Machida.
THIS is what Jones has to deal with. He ain't got the power to hurt Rashad's chin and he loves to kick if he's in stand up mode. Guess what? Philly D likes to kick too and that's probably the worst thing you can do against a guy like Rashad. Even when Philly D got that one takedown, like I expected, Rashad was on the ground for 5 secs max and then popped right back up. Even Greg Jackson has gone on record saying that Rashad's the most impossible fighter to keep down.
Like I said, Davis has Jones beat in the grappling stakes, ain't no way Jones is going to get on top of Rashad. He might be able to take him down from the clinch, which is where Jones excels most at, but the chances of Rashad being on the ground for more than 5 secs are very slim, so nasty ground and pound elbows are out.
If Jones is as intelligent as his Boners make out, he will be extremely cautious with his kicks, too. And you know Bones likes to kick. If he isn't, he'll be on his back and I believe Rashad when he says that once he takes Jones down, Jones ain't coming back up. He'll get dominated and his suspect ground game from the bottom will be exposed.
So you take out the wrestling ability of Jones against Rashad as well as his kicks..what's left? His boxing? Jones is decent and has range, but trust me as somebody with the same reach as Jones, your reach is only as good as your footwork, and Jones is NOT Anderson Silva. Not even close. His footwork is alright and he uses his reach relatively well, but against somebody slippery and fast against Rashad, it can be nullified.
Look at what Machida was able to do in the 1st round vs Bones. If you get a crafty fighter who 1-2 combo Jones pretty fast (which Rashad is very capable of doing), he can have Jones backinng up like Machida did. Thing is for Jones, this is even worse because if he backs up like he did when Machida ran in, he'll find himself vulnerable to the shot, and I really don't think that anybody at 205 and below can stop Rashad's shot.
If Rashad can take Rampage and a strong defensive wrestler like Philly D down, then I don't see him having that difficult time with a guy with a much higher centre of gravity than those two.
Jones excels at the clinch and that's the distinct advantage he has over Rashad. If Rashad can avoid Jones' clinch game, (unless it's Rashad who has him backed up against the cage), then Rashad should be able to outwork Bones. The chokes also have me a bit worried too. Jones has submitted guys who are either extremely difficult to submit or had never been submitted before, so he has a real skill there. Rashad's got to be careful even though his sub defense is brilliant.
Anyways, Rashad's got this..he's got this. 5th round TKO.
Bones has to worry about Rashad's wrestling, grappling,