Evans, Jones to settle score

By Nader Ihmoud

The Madhouse on Madison lived up to its name Jan. 28. This time the excitement revolved around the implications of the main Ultimate Fighting Championship bout between light heavyweights Rashad Evans and Phil Davis.

Evans (17-1-1) defeated Davis (9-1) by a unanimous decision at the United Center, 1501 W. Madison St., and now has the opportunity to fight Jon Jones (15-1) for the light heavyweight title in Atlanta on April 21.

Evans, a former light heavyweight champion, said Jones will be the favorite to win the fight, but the spectators will be in for a surprising outcome.

The two are former teammates, training partners and friends, and according to UFC.com, the two have a “testy feud.”

Evans said Jones added fuel to the fire by saying he wants to show everybody Evans is all hype and will be destroyed.

“That’s the biggest motivation in the world,” Evans said. “I definitely want to put the rivalry to bed, and more importantly, get a chance to get my [light heavyweight title] back. I feel like I can beat Jon Jones. I see errors in his game where I can capitalize.”

Evans was not able to do that in the fight against Davis. Evans said he felt he should have been able to exploit more of

his opponent’s mistakes. The main event lasted all five rounds, as expected by both fighters.

Evans predicted a win by knockout at the pre-fight workouts Jan. 25 at the Chicago Boxing Club, 3508 S. Halsted St.

“I wanted to put on a more spectacular win for the Chicago fans,” he said.

Although Evans is disappointed with his overall performance, he said wins on this stage are hard to come by, so he will not be too critical of himself. His ultimate goal was to knock Davis out, and he credited him for not allowing it to happen.

“He did a good job of keeping me from capitalizing,” Evans said.

As expected from the fighters, the match featured a lot of grappling and wrestling in which Evans dominated, leading the take-down ratio 3-2.

Prior to the fight, Davis said his wrestling skills were superior to Evans’, as he compared both fighters’ collegiate wrestling records. However, records did not factor into the outcome.

“I pretty much always respected his wrestling,” Davis said. “I didn’t get the points I needed to in the clutch positions.”

The octagon hosted two other fights prior to the main event, all telecast on FOX. Chael Sonnen (27-11-1) defeated Michael Bisping (22-4) by unanimous decision. Chris Weidman (8-0) stayed undefeated after beating Demian Maia by unanimous decision. Both middleweight fights were three rounds.

Fuel TV aired seven fights prior to UFC on FOX, which featured Chicago native Mike Russow defeating John-Olav Einemo by unanimous decision.

“It was exciting to fight here in Chicago,” Russow said. “It was awesome. A dream come true. [I’ve been] thinking about this since getting into [Mixed Martial Arts].”