All eyes will be on light heavyweight king Jon Jones and Rashad Evans when the bitter rivals collide April 21st. However, nobody will have more interest in their UFC 145 showdown than newly-appointed top contender Dan Henderson (Pictured).
While many believe Jones will steamroll his friend-turned-foe in their highly-anticipated scrap, including the Gambling Gods who have pegged “Bones” a whopping 5.5-to-1 odds-on favorite to retain his crown, Henderson believes Evans could give the champ a run for his money.
“Don’t count out Rashad Evans. Everybody’s assuming it will be Jones, but Rashad is a good fighter, too,” Henderson told ESPN.com. “Rashad got a lot of criticism for his last performance [against Phil Davis], but I thought he fought really well, really solid.
“Jon Jones is tough, but Rashad could definitely come out winning.”
Many pundits have professed the keys to unlocking Jones is an opponent with deadly hands and exceptional wrestling abilities. Hendo claims Evans has both qualities within his arsenal, not to mention a firm understanding of Jones’ game from their time together at Greg Jackson’s famed academy.
“He will definitely put Jones on his back if he fights like he did against Phil Davis,” Henderson added. “Rashad’s the better wrestler, it’s just that Jones is awkward. But Jones wouldn’t be able to stop him taking him down for that long.”
UFC 145 takes place inside Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. No word if Hendo will be sitting front and center to scout his next opponent first-hand. If not, he’ll drop $54.95 on the pay-per-view and collect his notes from the comforts of his own home.