The Juggernaut MMA News Report 03.29.12: 5 Reasons Why Rashad Evans > Jon Jones
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 03.29.2012
Rashad Evans is set to take on Jon Jones at UFC 145, but is he really the underdog? 411's Jonathan Solomon gives five reasons why that may not be the case! Plus news on King Mo's release, Fedor not going to the UFC and more!
5 Reasons Why Rashad Evans > Jon Jones
We are a few weeks away from the big light heavyweight title fight in Atlanta, so I am going to look at reasons why one of our main event fighters is greater than the other. This week, I will give you 10 reasons why Rashad Evans is better than the fella named Bones from New York.
1. Rashad is undefeated at heavyweight in the UFC. Jon Jones still has to wait until he grows some before he can walk in and fight the likes of Brad Imes!
2. Jon Jones could not even beat Matt Hamill.
3. Three words! Lay and prey. No other top 15 light heavyweight does it better.
4. Someone has to stop the guys at Greg Jackson's camp. Why not a former member? As is usually the case, MMA does pro wrestling better than pro wrestling. For those of you who would get the WWF reference, think of it as when Mr. Perfect left the Bobby Heenan family in 1992 and kicked off a feud with Ric Flair. We all know what happened there, don't we. Perfect beat Flair in a loser leaves town match…
Think about it.
Perfect = Rashad Evans, Flair = Jon Jones, Bobby Heenan = Greg Jackson and Vince McMahon = Mike Goldberg.
Next week, I'll list 5 reasons why Jon Jones is greater than Rashad Evans. There's nothing phony about that!
Bellator 63 Preview
Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinal Chris Lozano vs. Karl Amoussou
First up on the docket is the quarterfinal between Karl Amoussou (13-4-2) and Chris Lozano (9-2). For the Frenchman, this is Amoussou's first fight at welterweight after fighting nearly all of his career at middleweight. He last fought in November in a catchweight (175-pounds) and knocked out Jesus Martinez in 140 seconds. He made his Bellator debut last spring and lost a split decision to the rangy Sam Alvey in what was a season five tournament qualifier. His nickname is "Pyscho" which fits because 85% of the fights he wins are done with a knockout or submission.
Originally, his opponent was set to be War Machine but he was sentenced last month to serve a year in prison for a previous assault. With W.M. out of the picture, Bellator added Chris Lozano to the mix. The Ohio native participated in the season five tournament but lost to eventual winner Douglas Lima in the semifinals by second round knockout. He offers a wide range of skills he can win with including a Division-I wrestling background, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and boxing. He made his pro boxing debut two years ago but lost a majority decision and appears done with that. Only two of his 11 career fights have gnu the distance, a loss to former champion Lyman Good and his lone tournament win over Brent Weedman.
A tough match-up, I consider this close to an even fight with both men possessing plenty of knockout power and good grappling skills. Amoussou is a Judoka who may struggle against the wrestler if the fight goes to the ground and that's who I give the slight edge to, Lozano.
Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinal Ben Saunders vs. Raul Amaya
The most widely known welterweight among the field of eight is "Killa B" Ben Saunders (12-4-2) who was on a hell of a Bellator run before running into Douglas Lima last November. Eight months after suffering back-to-back losses in the UFC, he debuted with this promotion and began a series of show-stealing wars. He beat Matt Lee via third round doctor stoppage, earning a spot in the season five tournament. He knocked out Chris Cisneros and submitted Luis Santos with a key lock. Unfortunately for the former Ultimate Fighter competitor, Lima overmatched him and knocked him out (Saunders' first KO loss since fighting Mike Swick in 2009).
His opponent is Raul Amaya (9-0), making his Bellator debut. He has fought exclusively for the Art of Fighting promotion in Florida. All of his fights have ended with finishes but this is a huge step up in competition. Also, something that may become a factor is the height advantage for Saunders (6'3 to Amaya's 5'10).
This is a tough match-up for the newcomer to draw on his first night in but odds are he will be swinging for the fences to try and make an impact early. Saunders should win this match up, move on and be considered perhaps the favorite to win it all.
Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinal David Rickels vs. Jordan Smith
This third quarterfinal fight received a change one week ago when Brian Foster was not medically cleared to compete. Instead, Bellator moved Jordan Smith (17-2-1) to fight David Rickels (9-0) on about 8-days notice.
Rickels is the youngest fighter in the field, having turned 23-years old two months ago. He is 3-0 in Bellator with a series of triangle chokes. As a matter of fact, he has five wins in his career with that hold. He is a striker, or at least prefers to strike, but when fights go to the ground he can handle himself as evidenced by his 6 career submission wins.
Smith was a middleweight for much of his career who has settled down at 170. He's on a two win streak since September with decision victories against Karo Parisyan and Josh McDonald. He also has the versatility to do damage standing or on the ground with 8 wins by submission and 6 by knockout.
Rickels is the underdog if you go based on size (he does not cut any weight according to this interview with MMAMania.com)and experience. Smith has more power in his striking and may be able to keep the young welterweight at a distance while he attempts to pick him apart with rangy punches. Rickels must close the gap and land effective shots, otherwise, he may not be long for this tournament.
Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinal Bryan Baker vs. Carlos Alexandre Pereira
The final quarterfinal pits the most experienced fighter, Carlos Alexandre Pereira (33-9-1) against another former middleweight contender in Bryan Baker (16-3).
"The Beast" Baker has been fighting in Bellator since 2009 and has come up short in two middleweight tournaments. 2010 saw him make it to the finals before being knocked out by Alexander Shlemenko. Last fall, he knocked out Jared Hess in the opening round before suffering the same fate in the semi's against Vitor Vianna. Baker is an aggressive fighter who sometimes gets so wild it backfires, as was the case in the loss to Vianna.
Pereira has 24 wins in his past 27 fights and rarely goes the distance (just 7 decisions in 43 fights). His last loss came in August 2010 when Siyar Bahadurzada viciously knocked him out in the first round. Aside from that, since 2007, he's done nothing by win (aside from one draw).
As is a familiar situation, we will have to wait and see how Baker adapts to his new weight class and how much of an edge it gives him come fight time. On paper, this match-up appears set to be a pier six brawl with little chance of it lasting the full 15 minutes.
JUGGERNAUT NEWS BRIEFS
- Jake Shields' days as a welterweight appear to be over as it was announced on UFC Tonight this week he will move up to middleweight. His record in the UFC's 170-pound division stands at 2-2, coming off a decision win over Yoshihiro Akiyama. Shields' last fight at middleweight was in April 2010 when he defeated Dan Henderson in a successful defense of his Strikeforce championship.
- Former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion "King Mo" Muhammed Lawal was suspended for 9 months and fined $39,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for testing positive for the anabolic steroid Drostanolone. Plus, his win over Lorenz Larkin in January has officially be overturned to a no contest. Lawal recently survived a scary health battle due to a staph infection but will be forced to sit out the rest of 2012. Lawal has claimed the positive test occurred due to an over the counter supplement but accepted his punishment.
- That's not all. After the hearing, Lawal tweeted his reaction to the suspension and hearing. In particular, he took offense to NSAC official Pat Lundvall asking him if he "can read or speak English" when he misunderstood her question. On Twitter, he used a derogatory word to describe her. In response, Zuffa terminated Lawal's contract with Strikeforce (becoming the second fighter to get the axe due to a Twitter post. Miguel Torres has since been brought back to the UFC). In response, Lawal said he hopes to one day fight for the UFC and that while he felt disrespected by Ms. Lundvall's question, he did not mean to disrespect the Commission or any other official.
(Odds are you can expect Mo Lawal to make his UFC debut after this all blows over and he completes his suspension.)
- This Saturday morning at 8 a.m. ET, ONE Fighting Championship will present their third live event entitled War of the Lions. You can check out the show live as it happens courtesy of a free HD-quality stream on YouTube thanks to the One FC channel. The show in Singapore features 11 MMA fights including a lightweight main event of Felipe Enomoto vs. Zorobabel Moreira plus a featherweight bout between Tatsuya Kawajiri and Donald Sanchez. A couple of other fights on the card with fighters you should recognize: Melvin Manhoef vs. Yoshiyuki Nakanishi plus Masakazu Imanari vs. Kevin Belingon.
- Confirmed, finally, as the location for UFC 147 on June 23 is the Joao Havelange Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. UFC President Dana White says they expect anywhere from 60,000 to 80,000 fans inside the soccer stadium depending on how they are able to change the seating capacity. The show would become the number one UFC show in terms of live attendance, topping UFC 129 last year in Toronto when 55,724 people filled the Rogers Centre.
- Unfortunately for certain UFC staff, the company is producing a live event the night before with UFC on FX 4 in Atlantic City in New Jersey. If you really want to hear the crazy UFC schedule: UFC 146 in Las Vegas on May 26, TUF 15 Finale in Las Vegas on June 1, UFC on FX 3 in a yet to be announced city on June 8, UFC on FX 4 on June 22 in New Jersey, UFC 147 on June 23 in Rio and UFC 148 in Las Vegas on July 7. Nuts.
- Dana White told MMAJunkie that Fedor Emelianenko is not at all on the UFC's radar. This came after an interview in Russia where Fedor suggested he could fight in the UFC. White insists he has no interest in negotiating with the legendary heavyweight's representatives ever again.
- Cris Cyborg now blames her failed steroid test on someone she trained with giving her a supplement she thought was for weight loss. To her surprise, it actually contained an anabolic steroid...according to the former Strikeforce champion.
Pro athletes continue to prove, either they are stupid or they think the public is that stupid. What's your guess as to which is true?