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Jon Jones Defeats Rashad Evans: Immediate UFC 145 Reaction

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The main event of UFC 145 saw the fight that every fan of mixed martial arts has wanted to see since Jon Jones became the UFC light heavyweight champion. Jones is the most talented fighter in the sport today and could be the greatest of all time before his career is through. Rashad Evans was hoping to prevent that talk from continuing for the time being, having been defeated just once since winning The Ultimate Fighter.

Jones came in as the heavy favorite to retain the UFC light heavyweight division, but the one thing I thought could help Evans get the win was his familiarity with Jones from their time as partners. Which fighter would deal the first blow in what is already one of the greatest rivalries in the history of the sport?

First Round

After both men began the fight with the three-point stance, they came at each other in a cautious way. Evans was staying on the outside, waiting for his chance to counter. He was able to get the counter on several occasions, but Jones used his kicks to hold Evans back. With about 30 seconds left in the round, Evans landed a huge head kick which seemed to rock Jones a bit, but he was unable to get the finish.

My Scorecard: 10-9 Evans. Evans did more with the last flurry which weighed more than Jones attempting more strikes.

Second Round

The first couple of minutes of the round, both men were testing out their range again, but Jones was landing more shots. He started landing some vicious elbows, rocking the former champion. Evans backed up and tried to keep the champion from being able to land any powerful strikes. Jones continued to land elbows once he saw Evans couldn't stop him. Jones finished the round with some powerful strikes, leaving Evans shaking his head as he walked back to his corner.

My Scorecard: 10-9 Jones

Third Round

As Joe Rogan said, the momentum changed to the side of Jones after the second round, but Evans landed a big right hand to back the champion up. Jones wasn't deterred and continued to throw strikes. He landed a beautiful flying knee and elbow combination that wobbled Evans a bit, but didn't knock him down. Evans shot for a takedown, but was easily brushed aside and the round finished on the feet.

My Scorecard: 10-9 Jones

Fourth Round

It took more than a minute into the round before Evans threw anything. He was content with sitting back and waiting, which didn't make sense considering how dominant Jones has been in the last two rounds. In the final minutes, Evans shot for a takedown, and Jones caught him with a nice combination and continued to land strikes at will.

My Scorecard: 10-9 Jones

Fifth Round

Needing a finish for the win, Evans still didn't move forward. He had his right hand ready to land if he got the chance, but Jones was too creative with his strikes. As Rogan said, Evans needed to go for broke and risk being knocked out, but he wouldn't do it. With a little more than a minute left in the round, Jones threw Evans to the mat, but didn't get much out of it. In the final 10 seconds, Jones pulled guard and finished the fight on his back.

My Scorecard: 10-9 Jones (49-46 Jones)

Official Decision: Jon Jones via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45)

Jones is a special fighter and it showed. Evans is one of the best fighters in the world, but Jones made him look pedestrian. I think the UFC needs to put Dan Henderson in the Octagon with Jones to see if the former Olympian could pull out the win.

For a look at the best fights for some of the most popular fighters in the UFC and 2011 division recaps, go here.

More from this contributor:

Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans; Great Rivalry in MMA?

Look Back on History: UFC 139

Who Needs a Win the Most at UFC 145?

Interview with Invicta FC VP/Owner, Shannon Knapp

Who will replace MMA stars of yesterday?

Hobson Lopes has been a fan of mixed martial arts since the days of Tank Abbott and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.

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