MMA Power Rankings -- LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
Monday, April 16
It's finally close, the big fight between former training partners Rashad Evans and Jon Jones -- and it's a good thing, because there are those who can no longer stomach the feud (included Jones and Evans). How will it play out? If it's Jones' fight, probably short and sweet and full of artisan grace. If it goes Evans' way, that means the fight hit a patch of quicksand, and it'll be close and ugly. More than likely, we'll see a little bit of both.
The most interesting subplot going on with this fight is the sense of inevitability that Jones will win. He has been so dominant that it's no longer easy to conceive of him losing. As for Evans, he has always been slightly undervalued. In fact, when he became the champion of the 205-pound class, it was in circumstances similar to this, when he was fighting his way to the top as an underdog. The sheer volume of back-story intrigues is a mile long here, and it's been a full year since the betrayal set this thing in motion. But from a basic point of view, we finally get to see No. 1 against No. 2 in the division, and find out who No. 3 (Dan Henderson) gets to face next.
Meanwhile, the fastest moving contender in the class is Alexander Gustafsson, who used movement and range to pick apart Thiago Silva in his native Sweden. It was the most impressive performance of his career, and the young "Mauler" has shown more center and poise each time out. He'll need to beat a top-10 guy next to be a true contender, but he still moves up in the Power Rankings.