Rashad Evans, perhaps the most qualified number one contender in the relatively brief history of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), tonight (Jan. 28, 2012) punched his ticket to a championship fight against Jon Jones.
For now, anyway.
Evans routed Phil Davis in the UFC on Fox 2 main event from the United Center in Chicago, Ill., winning a unanimous decision and earning a date with "Bones" at UFC 145, which takes place on April 21, 2012, at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
It's literally been a fight almost two years in the making, with "Suga" -- a former 205-pound champion himself -- defeating Quinton Jackson back in May 2010 via unanimous decision to get another crack at retaining his world title. He was scheduled to challenge Mauricio Rua shortly thereafter; however, Evans had to withdraw weeks before their fight at UFC 128 because of an injury suffered during training.
That paved the way for Jones -- a training partner at Greg Jackson's gym in Albuquerque, N.M. -- to step in and challenge the Brazilian, which he did ... and then some. Jones throttled Rua and then went on to finish "Rampage" and Lyoto Machida all in the same calendar year.
Meanwhile, Evans -- who was the rightful number one division contender all along -- had to compete on a parallel track and take (and win) fights against guys like Tito Ortiz and the aforementioned "Mr. Wonderful" for a whole set of bizarre set of circumstances that you can catch up on right here.
All that matters now is that Jones and Evans, now sworn enemies, are set to settle their score in less than three months. And it can't happen soon enough.