Rashad Evans is a former UFC Light-Heavyweight world champion with a storied history as an MMA veteran and he will be making his Combat Jiu-Jitsu debut against a world champion under that ruleset, Ryan Aitken. The match will actually just be one of at least two superfights featuring famous faces from the UFC as it will take place at the same event that will see Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone taking on Craig Jones. Both matches will likely end up looking pretty similar as they will feature elite MMA-based grapplers taking on Jiu-Jitsu specialists who have a fantastic level of proficiency in the leglock game.
Cerrone addressed this himself during the build-up to the match when he explained what he believed to be his most likely avenue for success, and it’s a similar approach that Evans will need to take in order to emerge victorious in his match against Aitken. Despite the fact that the Combat Jiu-Jitsu ruleset does attempt to bridge the gap between MMA and BJJ competition, the advantage does still go to the Jiu-Jitsu player without the threat of strikes while standing and considering that Rashad Evans is 42 while Ryan Aitken is still in his athletic prime; this will likely be a tough night for the former UFC Light-Heavyweight world champion.
Aitken is a 10th Planet representative who burst onto the scene at the Middleweight edition of the CJJ World Championships when he managed to defeat four top-tier grapplers on the same night to walk away with the title, including one of the favorites to win the event in Hunter Colvin. He also made an attempt to earn a place at the 2022 ADCC world championships at the first edition of the North American East Coast trials but ended up losing to the eventual winner at 88kg, Giancarlo Bodoni. While he might be in the early days of his professional Jiu-Jitsu career, Aitken has a huge opportunity to make a name for himself at the event.
The full Combat Jiu-Jitsu Featherweight World Championships event, including the superfight between Rashad Evans and Ryan Aitken, will be available to watch live on December 19th on UFC FightPass, click here to subscribe and watch.