Rashad Evans faces Jon Jones at UFC 145 Eric Jamison/AP/Press Association Images

Uncaged: The time for talk is over for Evans ahead of UFC 145 bout

The match-up of “Suga” Evans and “Bones” Jones began with friendly barbs but has taken on an edgy level

EVERY BITTER WORD exchanged between former teammates Jon Jones and Rashad Evans in the lead-up to this fight has finally been spoken.

When Jones and Evans took to the stage for the UFC question and answer session this week they were strangely pally and almost complimentary to each other, going against the grain of the run-in to this fight.

Given the fact that it has been well over a year in the making, you can forgive the fighters for coasting through one last press commitment in the easiest way possible.

I doubt, however, that the fight will be lacking any intensity come Saturday evening.

Grudge match 101

Two former friends and training partners, who vowed never to fight each other, will finally collide this weekend in a grudge match that has been brewing for some time.

No, this isn’t the premise for the new Rocky Balboa film, but the story behind the main showpiece at this weekend’s UFC 145 event.

Current champion Jon “Bones” Jones will look to defend his belt against Rashad Evans in the most eagerly anticipated fight of the year so far.

Jones is looking to claim the scalp of another former champion but, in Evans, he faces a man who had unprecedented insight to his inner workings in training.

It is for this reason that “Suga” is perceived to hold the biggest threat to Jones’ dominance, despite still being strong underdog going into the fight.

When the two are matched up, it is hard to envisage anything other than another Jones victory.

While Rashad might just about shade the wrestling aspect, Jon has a stronger stand-up game, and may outlast him in the fitness race as Evans has been known to fade a little in the later rounds of some of his fights.

Any prospect of a shock victory for “Suga” may stem from the bad blood between the two and if Evans can control and channel those feelings by getting into Jones’ head in the early rounds, he might just pull off a major shock.

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Best of the rest

Saddled with the burden of being pronounced “The next George St-Pierre” has not really affected Rory MacDonald as he continues to work his way up the welterweight ladder.

He faces Englishman Che Mills who is looking to collect his second UFC win after defeating Chris Cope in his debut back in November.

MacDonald is an obvious step up in class for Mills who is looking to establish himself in the organisation rather than being a stepping stone for younger fighters in the division.

That being said, the twenty two year old Canadian has shown his all-round talent in the five UFC fights he has had already and should prove too strong for the Gloucester native.

Bredan Schaub will look to rebound from his defeat to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira as he takes on aBen Rothwell clinging to his UFC career.

Schaub looked to be a couple of fights away from a heavyweight title shot before ‘Big Nog’ knocked him out at UFC 134. Rothwell hasn’t exactly set the UFC on fire but should provide tough and durable opposition that Schaub should be good enough to overcome.

Miguel Torres faces tough up and comer Michael McDonald in a matchup that has ‘Fight of theNight’ potential while Mark Hominick looks to get over his devastating defeat at the hands of the Korean Zombie last time out as he faces Eddie Yagin.

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