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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
"I know how to beat him. There are things about his game which he can't change. The fact that we used to train together gives me a lot of confidence. I know where I need to get to with Jon in order to fight my game. Jon's a tall guy, I can't, obviously, fight on the outside. I gotta get inside where I can fight my game. I see a lot of spaces in Jon's game for a lot of different things. I'm to the point where it doesn't matter who you are, if I take you down, I'm going to unleash my ground and pound on you. I think I've improved more since the last time we trained together. I'm in a new environment, I had to learn. He's in the same environment, same coaches, learning the same thing. I will defeat Jon Jones and become UFC Light Heavyweight Champion."
-Rashad Evans talks about his UFC 145 bout with Jon Jones in a pre-fight interview with UFC.com (transcribed by MMAMania.com).
Penick's Analysis: Evans has to believe in himself, and he has to believe that the changes he's made since moving to his new training environment are enough to capture the title. He wouldn't be stepping into the cage if he himself didn't believe he could beat whomever's across from him, even a talent as special as Jones. That said, Evans can be as confident as possible in himself, but most won't believe he has much of a chance against his former friend and one time protege. Even though Jones has been in the same camp, he's continued progressing well beyond where he was prior to Evans leaving, and what he's shown over his last several fights has been fantastic.
[Rashad Evans art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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