MMA Power Rankings -- Light Heavyweight
Monday, Jan. 30
It's a tough crowd wherever you go when you're name is Rashad Evans. Not only does he get booed for never quite defined reasons no matter the zip code he's in, but now Evans gets criticized for punishing an unready, undefeated prospect in Phil Davis for five straight rounds on national television. He didn't just beat Davis, he rendered him completely ineffectual. And while the victory set up the ballyhooed fight with titleholder Jon Jones in April, many thought that Evans could have done more for a finish. Maybe he could have, but the goal has always been Jones. Davis, the decorated Penn State wrestler who preached a superior pedigree, was in his way. Evans dominated every phase of a fight that was nowhere as easy as he made it look.
As for Jones, who was part of the Fox telecast team in Chicago, it's high time the acrimony between him and Evans gets settled. It was just about a year ago when the relationship between the training partners went south, but it seems like eons ago. The two nearly had their paths cross a couple of times already but injuries and timing have derailed things. Barring any unforeseen circumstances -- and here's knocking on wood -- the light heavyweight title will be on the line in Atlanta on April 21. Just as was the case with Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva, it's the best-case scenario for fans and the UFC alike. Hype fuels interest, and there should be plenty of hype heading into the clash.
Davis takes a few steps back in the Power Rankings this week, and Evans finally gets his chance to replace Jones at the top.