Shortly after UFC went live on FOX last night, company officials confirmed that UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones would make his third title defense on April 21. Less than two hours later, Jones’s opponent became official when Rashad Evans defeated Phil Davis in the main event of UFC on FOX. While Evans wasn’t spectacular in his victory over Davis, he managed to shut out “Mr. Wonderful” on the scorecards and set up the highly anticipated showdown between former friends and training partners, which is set to go down in Atlanta at UFC 145.
It’s been a long road back to the title for Evans, who was originally scheduled to fight for the belt after defeating Quinton Jackson back in May 2010. However, due to injuries suffered by him and then champion Mauricio Rua, “Suga” has had to defeat Tito Ortiz and Davis before being able to secure another shot at the gold. Now he returns to Atlanta, where his road to superstardom began when he knocked out UFC hall of famer Chuck Liddell with a highlight reel overhand at UFC 88.
When Evans went down with an injury, it was Jones who stepped up to face Rua in March 2011. “Bones” dominated “Shogun” en route to a third round stoppage and became the youngest fighter ever to hold UFC gold. Jones defended his title twice in 2011, stopping former champions “Rampage” Jackson and Lyoto Machida by submission and cementing his status as one of the best fighters in the sport.
Ever since Jones took the place of Evans and capture the title, the two have engaged war of words. Both men trained together under the guidance of Greg Jackson, but Rashad left the camp shortly after Jones became champion, feeling disrespected by the new 205 pound king. The two men will finally settle their differences later this year in a five round fight that is sure to produce fireworks.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC