Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell has been a part of some of the biggest fights in the promotion’s history.
He also knows what it’s like to come into a fight as a huge favorite and also as a huge underdog.
The oddsmakers that set the lines usually have a pretty good sense of how things will turn out when releasing odds, and then it’s up to the betting public to drive the numbers either further apart or closer together.
BetonFighting.com currently has Jones listed as a whopping -505 favorite while Evans comes back at an underdog rate of +405.
Listening to those odds, Chuck Liddell can’t believe what he’s hearing.
“I think that’s ridiculous. 5 to 1, and 6 to 1, I mean, Jon’s been great, he’s doing great, and he’s going to keep getting better, but this is a fight styles wise that’s a tougher fight for him than the ones he’s had,” Liddell said on MMAWeekly Radio.
“He likes to control the distance, control where the fight was, whether it was standing or on the ground, and I think he’ll have a harder time doing that with Rashad.”
Liddell knows Evans very well from their fight back in 2008. With Liddell just coming off an epic win over Wanderlei Silva, he was looking to get back into the title hunt as he faced a hungry Rashad Evans at UFC 88. What resulted was one of the most famous knockouts in UFC history as Evans floored Liddell with a monstrous right hand, ending his night with a resounding thud.
Having studied Evans’ game for some time now, Liddell knows he’s got a few tools tucked away in his back pocket that could give Jones some serious problems if he’s not ready for them.
“When you can shoot in and take a guy down, you can change the distance whenever you want, you can be pressed to do something else, and it’s a lot easier to follow your game plan,” Liddell said about Evans.
“I think Rashad plans on pressing him. He’s got speed and power and he’s a good wrestler, so he’s able to mix it up, and mix it together.”
So with the odds so overwhelmingly in Jones’ favor, if Liddell was a betting man, is he putting his money down on Evans?
You bet he is.
“If I was a betting man, with the odds, absolutely no question you have to go with Rashad,” said Liddell. “That’s for sure. It should be a pick em’ but I want to see if Rashad can do it. I really want to see how Jon reacts, I want to see him get pushed and see how he reacts.”