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UFC 145 Betting – Jones Holds Off Evans In Grudge Match Between Former Teammates

Posted by Jack “The Hammer” Howard on 2/29/2012 1:39:53 PM
ufc 145 betting

Sports betting players should be getting ready for a good old-fashioned grudge match in the main event of UFC 145, as Jon Jones will defend his light-heavyweight belt against former teammate Rashad Evans, who once held the belt himself. There will be a lot of trash talk leading up to the fight and Jones will be pushed like he has never been, but side with the champ to eke out a decision victory.

What: UFC Betting
When: Saturday, April 21st, 9:00 PM ET
Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
Pick: Jon Jones -565

Why Bet On Jon Jones (15-1)

There are numerous reasons to bet on Jones, who has laid waste to the 205-pound division to the point that many want him to move to heavyweight, which he says is on the horizon. He is coming off arguably the best year in MMA history as he rolled through four opponents, three of which were former champions, and he hasn’t gone the distance since January 2009, a span of eight fights. Even his loss to Matt Hamill in December 2009 was self-inflicted as he used illegal elbows in a match he was dominating. Outside of having the longest reach in UFC history at 84.5 inches, “Bones” is a wrestling champion with some of the most unorthodox Muay Thai striking in all of MMA, he has vicious ground-and-pound with elbows and knees, and as he showed with his standing guillotine against Lyoto Machida in December, his jiu-jitsu is improving all the time. Some are still wondering about his chin, but Jones was hit by Machida, held his ground and took the fight to the mat like a smart person.

Also, some UFC betting players may wonder if Jones has overworked himself: he said he wanted a few months off after his amazing 2011, but a few days into his “vacation”, he called president Dana White and said he was ready to fight again. But at 24 years old (25 in July), Jones has youth on his side and it’s not like he took much punishment in his fights. Also, the youngest champion in the history of the UFC has never been taken to the mat….ever.

Why Bet On Rashad Evans (18-1-1)

That doesn’t bode well for “Suga”, the former champion and teammate of Jones, but he has said that he has taken Jones down in training. Evans has won four in a row since losing the belt to Machida in May 2009, two of which were against fellow former champions, and he showed Phil Davis what being an legitimate 205-pound contender was all about in January as he completely dominated his younger opponent. Even though Davis looked like he was afraid of the moment, Evans used his veteran experience to control the match and never looked in trouble. Like Jones, he is a former wrestling champion who has improved his striking since coming into the UFC, as proven by knockouts of Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin. But Evans’ biggest weapon in this fight will be the mental war and the lead-up to the fight: everyone knows these two used to be teammates and Jones only received the title shot against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua because Evans was hurt. This caused a rift between the two and this is a match that has been long in the making, but both have been injured at one point or another. Evans has to get in Jones’ head, and he could be already.

He’ll have to because no one is sure if Evans can match up to Jones physically, but who can? Evans is very quick, but does he have the strength to take Jones to the mat? He also has to worry about Jones’ reach, but Machida showed that it can be done and you have to think that Evans has learned a lot from training with Jones. Evans will also have to avoid Jones’ takedowns, and he has stuffed 66% of them in the UFC; he’ll need to stuff more than that because once Jones gets you on the mat, you’re in a world of trouble.

How It Will Play Out

UFC betting odds have Jones as a massive -565 favorite in this light-heavyweight tilt, while Evans comes in at +450. It’ll be interesting to see if Evans can even hang with Jones as no one else can, but given his history with the champion, if anyone has a chance, it’s Evans. He also knows trainer Greg Jackson, which means he has an idea of how Jackson will gameplan for his former student.

It’s going to be a much closer match than anyone thinks, although everyone said that about the Jones-Machida fight as well. Evans’ history gives him a small edge, and he should be able to last the full 25 minutes, but lean towards the champion, Jon Jones, in your online betting picks.

Jones Evans Betting Pick: Jon Jones

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