Rampage vs. Evans
The main event of UFC 114 is a highly-anticipated Light Heavyweight grudge match as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson takes on Rashad Evans.
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Evans enters the fight as the slight favorite with a betting line of -130 with Jackson given an even money line according to online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this main event bout, which will take place from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, beginning at 10PM ET live on pay-per-view.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (30-7):
Strengths: Jackson is an ultra-powerful fighter that can knock his opponents out with his left or right hand. He has a very strong hook, which he uses as a counter punch, that knocked out both Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva. Jackson is also very solid with his wrestling, as he was able to out-grapple Dan Henderson in a five-round war a few years ago. Jackson also has not been stopped in a fight since 2005.
Weaknesses: While a very tough fighter, Jackson hasn’t kept evolving and developed his clear weaknesses. In his last loss, a close decision to Forrest Griffin, Griffin was able to land leg kicks at will and nearly ended the fight in the second round because of a brutal leg kick. Still, Jackson hasn’t shown the ability to check the kicks, which could be an issue. Jackson has also had a lot of time off since fighting at UFC 96, as he filmed the movie “The A-Team” last year. That time off could hurt his conditioning in this bout.
Last Five Fights:
Unanimous decision win over Keith Jardine at UFC 96 on March 7, 2009
First round KO win over Wanderlei Silva at UFC 92 on Dec. 27, 2008
Unanimous decision loss to Forrest Griffin at UFC 86 on July 5, 2008
Unanimous decision win over Dan Henderson at UFC 75 on Sept. 8, 2007
First round TKO win over Chuck Liddell at UFC 71 on May 26, 2007
Rashad Evans (14-1-1):
Strengths: A former college wrestler at Michigan State, Evans is tough on the ground but in recent years, he has turned to using his speed and quickness to keep fights on the feet, where he can lands some powerful blows. His big breakout win came against Liddell at UFC 88, as he knocked the former champion out cold with a devastating right hand. Since then, Evans has seemingly thrown wrestling out the window and relied on his speed and boxing technique to win fights.
Weaknesses: Evans’ new mindset is what caused him to lose the UFC Light Heavyweight title back at UFC 98 to Lyoto Machida. Evans may have some power, but he is still far from a refined striker and when he meets better strikers, it will cause problems. In this fight, Evans will have to stick and move because if he stays in one place, Jackson will end the fight. Evans also has to understand that he may have the wrestling edge in this fight and have to try to get Jackson to the ground to test his conditioning.
Last Five Fights:
Unanimous decision win over Thiago Silva at UFC 108 on Jan. 2, 2010
Second round KO loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 on May 23, 2009
Third round TKO win over Forrest Griffin at UFC 92 on Dec. 27, 2008
Second round KO win over Chuck Liddell at UFC 88 on Sept. 6, 2008
Split decision win over Michael Bisping at UFC 78 on Nov. 17, 2007
Who will win: This fight is very tough to call. Evans has improved a lot but will be the smaller fighter. Jackson is a grizzled vet, but his game hasn’t changed much and he seems too stubborn to try and game plan differently. Look for Evans to use his quickness and wrestling to try and push Jackson early in the fight in hopes of tiring him for the later rounds. Jackson will land some good blows, but if Evans is smart and utilizes leg kicks, Jackson’s power will be noticeably less. We like Evans to pull out a close decision thanks to smarter fighting and better technique.
Additional Line: Over/Under 12.5 minutes for fight length. Over (even) Under (-130).
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Posted: 5/27/10 10:55AM ET