Apr 21, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; How close did Rashad Evans come to knocking out Jon Jones at UFC 145? Within inches according to Jon's striking coach, Mike Winkeljohn. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE
After the dust settled in the main event between current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former training partner turned bitter rival, Rashad Evans, at UFC 145 on April 21, 2012, "Bones" had proved his dominance yet again, earning a unanimous decision victory over "Suga."
The win marked his seventh straight and third consecutive title defense since earning the 205-pound title in March 2011.
Though Evans undoubtedly gave the young star his toughest test to date, taking him to the unchartered waters of going a deep 25 minutes, the bout, for the most part, was a one-side affair. Jones used his reach to keep his foe at bay and fended off any offensive attacks from the former light heavyweight kingpin, never coming close to any danger.
At least, that's the way what it appeared to the untrained eye of the spectator.
According to Jones' striking coach, Mike Winkeljohn over at Jackson-Winkeljohn Mixed martial Arts in Albuquerque, N.M., Evans came "within inches" of turning his star pupil's lights out. He would know, after all, Winkeljohn did serve as Evans' striking coach during his rise to glory whilst he was a student of his down in the 505.
Make the jump to hear from "Wink" himself via Prickley Pair Studios:
"Jon stood to still too much and got hit by it (overhand right). Close to finishing the fight. It could have been, within inches, a little more snap of the hips to snap the chin down and cause that much more pain that would have put Jon out. So we got away with that one. And same thing with the head kick. The Sean Salmon head kick that I worked with Rashad on so much. Jon got right in that space, leaned in and Rashad kicked him in the head. Other than those two moments Jon pretty much owned the fight, and so I was really happy with that."
Winkeljohn also says that he had some nice words with his former student, Evans, after the bout, but things would not be the way they used to be, seeing that the competitor in Rashad is certain he will get another crack at dethroning Jones down the road.
Meanwhile, "Bones" will next face former PRIDE FC Middleweight and Welterweight champion and former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion, Dan Henderson, later this year as he attempts to defends his title for the fourth time.
What say you, if Rashad nearly cleaned Jones' clock, what will a perfectly-placed "H-Bomb" from "Hendo" do to the young champ? Can Jones prove his resolve once again and show that he can eat a few shots from one of the most powerful punchers in the game today?