UFC 145 Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans: Wrestling Observer Staff Preview & Picks

UFC 145Compiled by Josh Nason

One of the biggest fights of 2012 is upon us as UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones fights Rashad Evans at Saturday's UFC 145, closing out a wild 13 months of bitterness, public trash talking and delays.

This is the UFC's first pay-per-view in nearly seven weeks. Will the public get into it? Is the heat high enough to think about 1 million pay per view buys or will it be much lower? Will the fight justify the hype?

There is also a great main event on Bellator that finds its way into our picks this time around.

The panel:

- Dave Meltzer (31-13): Wrestling Observer founder & writer

- Todd Martin (24-20): Weekly FFD guest & RAW recapper | LA Times | Sherdog

- Mike Sempervive (27-17): Wrestling Observer Live | Big Audio Nightmare

- Oliver Copp (33-11) & Mike Sawyer (30-14) of Tough Talk: Show

- Josh Nason (26-18): FFD guest | FIGHT! Magazine | Bloody Elbow

UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones (15-1) vs. Rashad Evans (17-1-1)

What more can be said about this fight?

Jones: Nason, Meltzer, Copp
Evans: Sempervive, Martin, Sawyer

Rory MacDonald (12-1) vs. Che Mills (14-4-0-1)

The 22-year-old MacDonald returns to action for the first time in nine months after taking some time off for injury recovery. At 3-1 in the UFC, many think he's the next big thing at welterweight but he has a tough out in Mills, who made his UFC debut with a 40 second KO of Chris Cope. The 29-year-old has won five in a row.

MacDonald: Nason, Sempervive, Meltzer, Martin, Sawyer, Copp

Ben Rothwell (31-8) vs. Brendan Schaub (8-2)

Rothwell is 1-2 in his UFC run with losses to Cain Velasquez and Mark Hunt. He's in a must-win situation here against Schaub, looking to rebound after his upset loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira last August. Will the long layoff help?

Rothwell: Sawyer
Schaub: Nason, Sempervive, Meltzer, Copp, Martin

Michael McDonald (14-1) vs. Miguel Torres (40-4)

At just 21, McDonald is similar to the aforementioned MacDonald in that he's a highly regarded young fighter in his division. Now on a seven fight win streak and fresh off a 56 KO of Alex Soto in November, he faces his toughest test. Torres is 10 years McDonald's senior and despite winning three of his last four, he's still trying to get some of his WEC title run mojo back.

McDonald: Nason, Meltzer, Martin, Sawyer, Copp
Torres: Sempervive

Bellator: Eddie Alvarez (22-3) vs. Shinya Aoki (30-5-0-1) II

For a little more in-depth look, check out my preview on Bloody Elbow. This is a rematch a few years in the making and could be Alvarez's last fight in the promotion. It's a shame one of Bellator's most high-profile matches is being overshadowed, but at least it's not on Saturday, right?

Alvarez: Nason, Sempervive, Meltzer, Martin, Sawyer, Copp

As always, get your full coverage with running play-by-play and more here on WrestlingObserver.com!

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