Interesting photo here as Rashad Evans prepares for next weekend's UFC 133 main event against Tito Ortiz. To prepare for the fight, Evans has spent some time training with top ranked kickboxers Tyrone Spong and Cosmo Alexandre at Imperial MMA in Florida. For those unfamiliar with the names, both Spong and Alexandre are among the elite in kickboxing and Muay Thai, claiming multiple world title between them. Spong may be best known to MMA fans as Alistair Overeem's opponent at last year's K-1 Grand Prix, where he gave The Reem his toughest challenge of 2010.
I'll be very interested to see how this work impacts Evans, as in my eyes, it is a fantastic choice of training partners for him. Rashad's greatest strengths in MMA have always been his wrestling and his hands. His striking game is solid from the waist up, but has some gaps elsewhere, as he does not use many kicks, and could still improve his footwork at times. Working with two kickboxing experts may help tighten up that footwork, while expanding his striking repertoire to include kicks and knees. Meanwhile, both Spong and Cosmo are looking at making a transition to MMA, and working with a wrestler and excellent all around fighter like Evans will greatly benefit them.
Will we see a new and improved stand-up game from Rashad at UFC 133?
Rashad Evans, Tyrone Spong, Cosmo Alexandre, and the rest of the crew at Imperial MMA.