Rashad Evans Chuck Liddell UFC 88 (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones is heavily favored by the odds-makers, sponsored by the UFC and expected by most fans to handily beat former champ Rashad Evans. Evans is smaller, older, has a less flashy style and UFC fans have seen him lose before, something they've never seen happen to Jones.
But some of the most informed observers are refusing to see this as a gimme for Jones. Former champion Chuck Liddell and possible future champion Phil Davis, both of whom lost badly to Evans, think it's a very open question as to which fighter will be the better man on Saturday in Atlanta, Georgia.
We'll hear from Liddell and Davis after the jump...
MMA Weekly talked to Chuck LIddell about the fight:
"I think that's ridiculous. 5 to 1, and 6 to 1, I mean, Jon's been great, he's doing great, and he's going to keep getting better, but this is a fight styles wise that's a tougher fight for him than the ones he's had.
"He likes to control the distance, control where the fight was, whether it was standing or on the ground, and I think he'll have a harder time doing that with Rashad."
Davis was on HDNet's Inside MMA (via MMA Mania) and gave his thoughts on Jones:
"You know, I tend to shy away from answers like this, just because everyone is so skillful in their own regard. I definitely think he's a very talented champion, but just to be the best in the world says a lot about it. I don't think he's necessarily any better than any of the other champions. But that's just from a competitor's standpoint. I'm sure the fans would say something different.
"I think up until Jones became the champion, a lot of people thought, 'Oh, this is just another young guy.' And, they went out to, basically, to really beat him. Whereas, if you take away the people fighting Georges St. Pierre, it's very tactical, it's not necessarily -- everyone is in it to beat him, don't get me wrong, but a lot of times, it's a slower pace. It's very methodical. It's not going for the kill. Which, I feel Jones has had as his advantage that people are coming right at him. It's easy to meet a fight head on. But a lot of times, guys are just looking to choose shots and, you know, pot shots whenever they can. It's a lot tougher, and I think he'll get that now that people realize that he's a force to be reckoned with in the division."