Since Rashad Evans and Jon Jones stopped being training partners last year, the two have spewed nothing but vitriol at each other. But as UFC 144 and their title bout nears, Jones talked about how he misses their friendship with the Score in Chicago.
"We trained together and we had good times, but this competition has come between our friendship, which sucks," Jones told host Laurence Holmes. "I do miss being friends with the guy. But it's business, and he's coming after my championship. I've gotta do what I've gotta do. It might be a little awkward punching him in the face, but I'm sure the first time he swings at me, it will get reactionary."
Though fighters quite often forget their pre-fight squabbles after bouts, Jones says a renewed friendship is unlikely. He just wants respect between the two.
"I'd like to get to a point of being cordial, but to be friends again is not necessary. There's thousands of wonderful people in the world I can meet. After all that's been said, we can just live our lives. Respect is all that's necessary for me."
Hoping for respect between the two didn't prevent Jones from taking a few digs at Evans and how he performed in his win over Phil Davis.
"I don't know if it's because of changing camps, but his body looked a little softer. He couldn't finish Phil Davis, a guy who is pretty much a rookie. [Ed. note -- Davis has 10 fights.] I got even more motivated to out-train him."
Jones thinks that if the same Evans who fought Davis shows up in Atlanta in April for their bout, it will be another title defense.
"Rashad's been in the game for almost 10 years now [Ed. note -- Eight years], and he didn't really show why he's the No. 2 ranked athlete. We didn't see any legit boxing combinations, no kicking, no powerful double-leg dives. He was really just out there existing. If that's the same fighter who comes out when we fight, easier day for me."