UFC 145 Results: What a Win over Jon Jones Would Mean to Rashad Evans' Legacy

Andrew BarrCorrespondent IApril 21, 2012

Pictured: Rashad Evans. Photo courtesy of MMAjunkie.com
Pictured: Rashad Evans. Photo courtesy of MMAjunkie.com

We are just hours away from what is easily one of the most highly anticipated match ups of 2012—Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans.

At one point these two men were training partners, Rashad the mentor and Jones the rookie. Now, they don't train with each other, and there's no love lost between them.

One of the fastest rising stars in the history of the sport, Jones has quickly gone from a rookie to a UFC champion and a consensus top for pound-for-pound fighter. In 2012 Jones fought four times, winning and finishing all four fights, as well as capturing the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship and defending it twice.

The 24-year-old champion is the most dominant his division has had since the legendary reign of Chuck Liddell. Some are already speculating that Jones will one day be considered the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.

So, with all the hype surrounding Jones, what would a UFC 145 victory mean for Rashad Evans' legacy?

Well, let me start off by saying that Evans is a relatively under-appreciated fighter. He boasts a 12-1-1 record within the UFC and has defeated many of the sports greatest light heavyweights, including Tito Ortiz, Quinton Jackson and Liddell.

Despite these accolades it is rare that you hear Evans talked about as one of the sport's all-time greats. This is probably due, in part, to his devastating loss to Lyoto Machida back in 2009, coupled with the fact that a lot of people just plain don't like him.

However, a win over Jones would guarantee Evans the respect he deserves.

By defeating Jones, Evans would succeed in stealing the young champion's thunder and cement his place as one of the top-six greatest light heavyweights in the history of the sport.