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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Though Jon Jones and Rashad Evans trained together in the past, and Evans himself is a former Champion in his own right, oddsmakers have set things highly in Jones' camp, making him as high as a 6-to-1 betting favorite on some sites.
For a fighter who has ripped through three straight Champions or former Champions, it's not necessarily crazy to believe he should be favored over his former mentor and teammate, but one former Champion and UFC legend believes those lines are way off.
"I think that's ridiculous," said UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell in an interview with MMAWeekly.com. "5 to 1, and 6 to 1, I mean, Jon's been great, he's doing great, and he's going to keep getting better, but this is a fight styles wise that's a tougher fight for him than the ones he's had."
"He likes to control the distance, control where the fight was, whether it was standing or on the ground, and I think he'll have a harder time doing that with Rashad."
Liddell has had first hand experience with the skills of Evans, having been knocked out by "Sugar" Rashad in the very same city in which UFC 145 will take place: Atlanta, Ga. And with the odds where they're at, Liddell said he'd definitely take Evans, considering he sees it as a much closer fight.
"If I was a betting man, with the odds, absolutely no question you have to go with Rashad," said Liddell. "That's for sure. It should be a pick em' but I want to see if Rashad can do it. I really want to see how Jon reacts, I want to see him get pushed and see how he reacts."
Penick's Analysis: The odds are definitely heavily skewed here, and I don't think it's entirely undeserved. Still, there are aspects of this fight very much in question with the history between the two and Evans' past knowledge of Jones in training. Also, Jones hasn't fought someone looking to bring the fight to the ground, which is very much what Evans may be looking to do. So it's a really hard fight to predict, but the consensus is Jones should win based on what we've seen of him in the last year.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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