• UFC 145

Jones v Rashad is biggest fight since I fought Chuck - Ortiz

ESPN staff
April 16, 2012 « 'Tired' Isner outlasted by Monaco | Chartbeat test »

Former UFC champion Tito Ortiz has summed up the magnitude of the upcoming UFC 145 main event between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans, labelling it the biggest fight in half a decade.

Jones and Evans contest the light-heavyweight title on April 21, but for once there is much more than UFC gold on the line. The pair are former team-mates and friends, divided by a bitter split that has seen relations severely soured in recent times.

The fight holds plenty of echoes to Ortiz's former rivalry with Chuck Liddell, which saw two former friends become hate-fuelled enemies. Ortiz and Liddell battled on two occasions, both won by the lethal hands of Liddell, bringing box-office publicity that helped the UFC become the global force that it is today.

Speaking as the most dominant light-heavyweight champion in UFC history, courtesy of having made the most successful defences of his belt, Ortiz is better placed than most to judge the Jones v Evans showdown. And he is predicting a memorable night, won by Jones.

"History is going to be made, this fight is the biggest fight since me and Chuck Liddell," Ortiz told ESPN. "The fans want to see it, the hype has built for it, and I think the UFC has timed this fight perfectly.

"But Jon Jones is a phenomenal athlete, and I see him retaining his world title."

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