Evans Out! Machida to face Jones

In what has almost become a predictable occurrence, Rashad Evans has been injured and had to, once again, pull out of a fight. This was one of the more anticipated fights, too.

It was a naturally marketable fight: Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans. So many great elements: they were teammates, Evans helping Jones develop, getting him into camp, working with each other to prepare for fights… then the announcement from the UFC, Evans leaving the team, lots of talking between the two… Rampage saying Evans was the only one who could beat Jones, Maynard saying Evans could beat Jones because Jones runs away from punches…

Now we get to watch Machida come in and attempt to use his style of jumping in and striking, jumping back to safety to see if he can out-quick Jones, while avoiding takedowns… There is still an interesting fight here, but it’s not the same.

Evans has shown himself to be faster than Jones. If Rampage can time Jones’ strikes, surely Evans can as well. Evans’ wrestling background serves him well, should the fight go to the ground.

Interestingly, at the recent UFC pre-136 press conference, Dana White addressed questions about Machida and commented that he was not sitting Lyoto out because of the way he acted when offered a fill-in to face Evans previously, but that there just weren’t fights to be booked. And, with the first fight to open up, places Machida in it…

Once again, UFC fans find themselves looking to a very different fight than was expected…