Esther Lin, MMA Fighting | Jon Jones will try to defend his UFC light heavyweight title against Rashad Evans at UFC 145 on Saturday night.
This is the UFC 145 live blog for Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans, a light heavyweight bout on tonight's UFC event from Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga.
Jones, who has won his past six fights, will defend his title against Evans, who has won four straight fights, on the main card.
Check out the live blog below.
Round 1: The Atlanta crowd is absolutely raucous right now. Herb Dean is the man overseeing tonight's championship fight. Jones avoids Evans' eyes in the staredown. It's on. Evans circles and Jones leaps in with a left to the body. Head kick nearly finds its mark for the champion. Evans pumps his jab but nothing lands clean. Jones lunges forward with a jumping side kick to the knee. Another head kick nearly lands for Jones. Evans backs away and regroups. Jones stalks into the pocket and whizzes a wild left hand past his rival, followed by a missed superman punch and a pair of body kicks. Evans backs Jones up with a huge head kick. Jones may be hurt. Rashad storms forward but the champ regains his footing as the horn sounds. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Jones.
Round 2: Evans squatting low in his stance to open the second frame. Jones briefly engages the clinch and wings a left hook on the way out. Jones slips a wild right hand and counters with a front kick. Evans circles out of a flurry and taunts the champ as he walks away. Hard body shot from Rashad. Evans starting to open up with his strikes now. Jones senses it and closes the distance with a pair of hard standing elbows. Evans is dazed but Jones fails to follow up. Jones lands another massive elbow. He's starting to feel it now. Jones storms forward with a flying knee, left hook combo as the round comes to close. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Jones.
Round 3: Evans opens on the outside, looking to regroup. Big right hand lands clean for Evans. Jones retreats and gathers himself, pumping out his jab to maintain distance. Whenever Rashad presses forward he's doing well, but if he sits back Jones can pick him apart. Jones switches his stance and tosses out another jab. The champ is being the aggressor, flying in with a powerful elbow and just missing with a hard knee. Jones is stalking Evans now, and Evans seems to be unsure of himself. The champ engages the clinch but nothing comes out of it. Jones misses a switch kick at the horn. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Jones.
Round 4: Rashad is on the defense now. Jones is fighting his fight, keeping the action at a distance and picking Evans apart with his jab. Jones leaps in, misses a shot and stuffs a takedown attempt. Rashad hesitates and reaches in for a double leg, but Jones repels it easily. Jones gets in tight and drops his hands but Evans doesn't attack. The pressure Jones is applying right now is unbelievable. Rashad unleashes a flurry but Jones slips it and grabs hold of his neck, looking for a choke. Jones doesn't have it locked in, though he gives Evans a knee to the body on the way out. Evans is starting to look winded. Jones shoots in for a power double at the horn. Evans sprawls and fights it off. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Jones.
Round 5: The pace picks up for the final five minutes. Jones opens up with his jab, followed by a thunderous body shot. The champ has his hands at his waist, taunting his rival. Another combination lands flush for Jones. Rashad misses wildly with a spinning back fist and Jones jumps in with a flying knee. Jones briefs clinches, throws a solid left hook then disengages. Bones flat out tosses Evans to the ground. He's looking to finish, but Rashad fights it off and stands. Thirty seconds left and Evans needs to do something desperate. Jones jumps and pulls guard. Evans looking to land a big shot, but it's too little, too late. Jon Jones remains the UFC light heavyweight champion. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Jones.
Jon Jones def. Rashad Evans via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45).
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