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Rashad Evans: Anthony Johnson will knock out Jon Jones within two rounds

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Esther Lin

In a seven-year career which includes four as UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones has never come close to getting finished in a fight.

But that doesn't stop Rashad Evans from thinking Anthony Johnson, the man expected to be Jones' next title challenger, will be the one who gets the job done.

Evans, who has been both a training partner and an opponent to Jones, is currently Johnson's Blackzilians teammate.

And he feels that Jones simply won't be able to match the power the man calls "Rumble" possesses.

"I think that if they start exchanging, which they will, because AJ brings a lot of pressure, he'll knock him out," Evans, himself a former UFC light heavyweight champion, said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour.

Evans doesn't think it will take too long, either.

"I'll say within the first two rounds for sure," Evans said. "To say like that makes it sound like I don't have any respect for Jon Jones and what he's done as far as being a champion. But let's be honest here, what it comes down to is punching power, this kid can really hit."

Evans readily acknowledges that Jones has a savant-like ability to beat his opponent at his own game. And he also recognizes that Jones' striking offense is varied and inventive, as opposed to Rumble's straightforward, pure power.

"The thing with Jon Jones that makes his so dynamic and one of the things that makes him one of the best ever is that he's able to adapt his game plan to the guy he fights," Evans said. "Then he'll fight the guy at his own game. Now, that is something you can do with a lot of athletes that he's faced, but you can't, you know, you can't get punching power, you either have punching power or you don't. Jon does not have that kind of punching power. He has very damaging elbows and stuff like that."

But ultimately, Evans believes that two will get involved in heated exchanges, and that's when Johnson's power will shine through.

"Jon is very creative, and AJ has never been with such a creative striker as Jon," Evans said. "But let's be honest here, Jon, he's shown many times that he can be hit. Gustafsson hit him many times. Gustafsson started a lot of onslaught with his favorite combination, leading with the uppercut or finish with the uppercut, and that left hook. Those are AJ's favorite punches. His hardest punch is the uppercut."