In my efforts to bring you everything you need to know about this bout, I talked with UFC fighter Brian Stann about the keys to the fight. Stann has trained with Evans and Jones at Greg Jackson's Submission Fighting and MMA training camp in Albuquerque, N.M.
Stann broke down the strengths of each fighter.
“If you were to ask me about the two most difficult opponents I ever trained with in the gym, I would say Rashad Evans and Jon Jones,” Stann said. “These two guys have given me the most trouble in my career in the training room and for complete different reasons.”
Stann's assessment of Evans:
"When Rashad is on top of you it is a supplicating, energy-draining experience. He has a tremendous top game with relentless ground and pound that absolutely drains your energy source.
"He makes it feel like you got run over by a truck after going five rounds with him on the ground."
Stann's assessment of Jones:
"Jon is a guy that I have seen do six or seven sparring rounds in the gym with different people and not get him in the face once.
"I was one of his main sparring partners for his fight with Rampage Jackson and people asked me how I thought that fight would go. I said I don’t think Jon will get hit once.
"In the many rounds that we had sparred, I only hit him in the face once."
Stann's keys to winning:
"The story of this fight basically depends on Rashad. He has to perform a very difficult game plan, which is to pressure, take down and control Jon Jones.
"I think in order for Rashad to beat Jon, he has to finish him, because to take Jon Jones down over a course of a five-round fight is going to be nearly impossible.
"To beat him in a judges decision is going to be very, very difficult, because I don’t see anybody getting him down for five rounds in a row.
"Jon's reach advantage is tremendous and his strikes are diversified and completely unpredictable. When I have seen people close the distance on him, they normally end up getting thrown or clinched and tripped up or eating lots of knees."
My take:I have never seen this much hype and promotion around one MMA fight in the history of the UFC. The undercard is weak, so all of the talk is only about Jones vs. Evans. Let’s hope it lives up to the hype, because the Rashad Evans vs. Rampage Jackson fight certainly didn’t.