UFC will host its first pay-per-view in what seems like a while when one of the world’s best pound-for-pound fighters Jon “Bones” Jones (15-1) finally defends his UFC light heavyweight title against former training partner “Suga” Rashad Evans (17-1-1) at UFC 145 on Saturday, April 21, in Atlanta. PPV purchase is $44.99, but those wanting to check it out can do so by going to Major League Grill at 4430 Dowlen in Beaumont.
After nearly a year of jawing at each other, the two fighters had a change of attitude during the fight-week press conference and were actually complimentary of each other. Both fighters once trained together at Jackson’s MMA academy in New Mexico, but Evans left three fights ago to train in Florida.
Jones, the champ, has looked nearly flawless in every round during his 10-0-1 run in the UFC. His only hiccup or sign of weakness came during his last fight with Lyoto Machida, the former champion, at UFC 140 in December as Machida was able to land some very good strikes in the early going. But Jones tied his Superman cape on in the second round and put Machida to sleep with a standing guillotine.
Jones has never been rocked or even taken down, but Evans, who has a strong background in wrestling, is going to try to do just that. Evans is also a former champ and has one loss on his record; that came against Machida in 2009. Evans cruised against his last two opponents, Phil Davis and Tito Ortiz, and says he would rather beat Jones than win the title.
My pick is Jones retains his title by a mid-round submission.
The PPV undercard, which starts at 9 p.m., includes Rory MacDonald (12-1) vs. Che Mills (14-4), Brendan Schaub (8-2) vs. Ben Rothwell (31-8), Mark Hominick (20-10) vs. Eddie Yagin (15-5-1), and Mark Bocek (10-4) vs. John Alessio (34-14).
FX will show four fights beginning at 7 p.m., which feature former WEC champion Miguel Torres (40-4), Michael McDonald (14-1), Travis Browne (12-0-1), Chad Griggs (11-1), Matt Brown (13-11), Stephen Thompson (6-0) and John Makdessi (9-1).
The official Facebook page of the UFC will show the remaining three fights at 5:30 p.m. Fighting will be Mac Danzig (20-9-1) vs. Efrain Escudero (18-4), Keith Wisniewski (28-13-1) vs. Chris Clements (10-4), and Marcus Brimage (4-1) vs. Maximo Blanco (8-3-1).
Bellator will host one of its biggest cards of the year on Friday, April 20, at 7 p.m. on MTV2. Headlining the card from Cleveland will be a lightweight superfight between EddieAlvarez (22-3) and Shinya Aoki (30-5-2). This will be the second meeting between the two; they first met on Dec. 31, 2008, at K-1 in Japan, and Aoki defeated the former Bellator champion via first round submission.
Also scheduled for the MTV2 broadcast are the semifinals of the Bellator middleweight tournament with Brian Rogers (9-3) vs. Andreas Sprang (7-1), and Maiquel Falcao (29-4) vs. Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (16-1).
Two lightweight bouts are also scheduled including Lloyd Woodard (12-1) vs. Rick Hawn (12-1), and Thiago Michel Pereira Silva (10-2) vs. Brent Weedman (19-7-1). The remaining six undercard fights will be streamed live on spike.com.
Jasper football names coach
Darrell Barbay has been named the new Jasper head football coach to replace Garrett Morgan, who resigned after one season. Barbay comes over from Anahuac, where he led the Panthers for six seasons with a 33-20 record to go along with two district titles.
He was an assistant in Jasper for four seasons, 1995-98, and head coach at Hull-Daisetta, where he went 41-32. The son of the late Curtis Barbay has a coaching record of 72-52.
Lady Panthers honored
The members of the Ozen Lady Panthers Class 4A state winning track team were honored as they received their state championship rings along with coach Sandra Jones. Those receiving rings were Dominique Brannon, Jameka Fontenot, Nekia Jones, Raven Williams, Renika Williams and Bealoved Brown.
The current Lady Panther track team, along with the Ozen boys team, just won the District 20-4A track title and will next compete in the Class 4A regional meet on April 27-28.
Celebration was also called for when seniors Asia Booker and Robyn Hancock signed letters of intent to play college athletics.
Booker will play college basketball at Lamar University, and Hancock will play volleyball at Alabama A&M.
Both the track team and Lady Panther basketball team were honored with a proclamation on April 12 by the Jefferson County Commissioners Court.