• UFC 145

Win will be so sweet for Jones/Rashad winner - Chuck

ESPN staff
April 18, 2012

Chuck Liddell believes the winner of Jon Jones and Rashad Evans has something far greater than UFC gold to fight for this weekend, insisting the sweet feeling of beating a close rival will make Saturday's clash even more competitive.

Jones and Evans headline UFC 145, where the light-heavyweight belt is on the line. The pair have had plenty to say about each other, questioning one another's integrity and honesty, so there will be no love lost when two old friends throw down on April 21.

Liddell has been in the situation before, against Tito Ortiz, whom he beat twice in high profile hate-fuelled battles. Usually a man of few words, former champ Liddell came alive when asked if it makes victory sweeter to beat a former training partner.

"For sure!" responded the Iceman in an interview with ESPN. "The bad blood is a great motivator for training.

"It's a long camp so when you have that kind of feeling about somebody, it makes it so much easier. It helps you put in that extra 10 per cent in training.

"It also makes it a lot sweeter when you win, for sure!"

Liddell was once the victim of a perfectly executed Rashad Evans gameplan, when Evans waited patiently for the chance to knock out Liddell with one impeccably-timed counter. Asked what type of plan Evans would need for Jones, the Iceman predicted it will be all about rhythm.

"It seems like his gameplan is to push Jon and make him fold," Liddell said. "Put it on him and make him work. Jon always has a great gameplan and executes it well. What makes it interesting is Rashad will make it harder for Jon to follow his gameplan.

"Some of his other rivals have allowed Jon to control where the fight happens, whether it was up or whether it was on the ground. I don't think Rashad will make it that easy for him.

"Rashad is a great wrestler and he mixes up his punches and takedowns. He's going to make it tough for Jon to assume total control."

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