March 16, 2011
Rashad Evans waited a long time to get his shot at the UFC light heavyweight belt against Mauricio Rua. Then he suffered an injury that would keep him out 6-8 weeks. Evans was hoping the fight would be delayed, but the UFC's troubles were averted when Jon Jones stepped in on short notice. One problem, Jones is a teammate of Evans and now the former UFC 205-pound champ is peeved at "Bones."
"When he joined the team, he joined the team on the premise that he wouldn't fight none of us because that's…with Greg Jackson, that's one of his policies. Greg brought him on the team and he said he was like, you know what? Jon's on this team, he'll be a good addition to the team. He's got a good style and he's an up and coming kid and he'll never fight you or never challenge you or nothing like that," Evans told Larry Pepe. "There's nothing you need to worry about. He brought him onto the team with that intro."
Jones didn't get the memo and jumped at the opportunity to take on Rua at UFC 128. He's clearly aware that Evans isn't happy and snapped off during last week's prefight teleconference.
"I absolutely hate when people mention Rashad Evans, especially throughout this training camp….for people to even be mentioning Rashad Evans right now…I think it's ludicrous. Rashad is not in my mind, he's not in my being, he has absolutely zero to do with my heart and who I am right now," Jones said. "This guy has nothing to do with Shogun and from here on out, I don't think I'll answer a question about Rashad. I have a lot of people outside of Rashad who I can draw energy and power from and they'll all be with me."
"That does sound a little bit cold-blooded. Jon's a young guy and when you're a young guy sometimes you talk a little too fast for your brain to keep up. I don't think it's acceptable at all. I don't think it's something I'd say. It sounds like he wants to fight, huh? Those sound like fighting words," Jones told Pepe. ".[...] Sometimes when you open your mouth you show what you're afraid of more than anything. I don't know why he has such an adverse response like that to me. I've never challenged him or made him feel like he should do that sort of thing. It sounds to me — if I was out of the situation — that he was feeling insecure about me. You can't just expect to not talk about a situation where you stepped in for a friend and training partner in a title fight who was injured. You can't take it personal… That sounds like a baby."
If Jones wins the title, Evans has to consider taking the fight and more significantly leaving the only training he's known in Albuquerque under Greg Jackson.
"It's something I gotta talk to Greg [Jackson] about it and I gotta talk to Jon [Jones] about. That's how I believe things should be done. We entered into an agreement together and if things are gonna go another way, I don't think he should have to find out from TV. He should find out from my mouth before I tell anybody. That's just how I do it as a man.I just have to sit down and decide on whats its going to be, because whatever it is going to be, there is no going back. There is no making it better. There is no going back to the team after it is done. If we agree to fight, if we say we are going to fight, it's over," Evans said. "[...] I would need to divorce myself from the situation and just start over, and come with something new. I would divorce myself from the crew from Jackson's. Trevor [Whittman] would be separate because he is at Grudge. Jon trains in Albuquerque, so I just would divorce myself from Albuquerque and from training with Greg."
Dana White is pretty clear on his thoughts about friendship being a roadblock anywhere in the fight game. He's happy that Evans is finally seeing the light.
"It makes sense [that they fight each other if Jones wins the title]. There's been a lot of stuff [said by] Rashad. Rashad thinks that I'm hatin' him or whatever the deal is. I don't. The reality is — I said it on your show the last time I talked to you — he hasn't known Jon Jones that long. To call him a brother and this and that…I really believe that…and Rashad didn't tell me this. Jon Jones didn't tell me this. This is just something that I came up with in my head. This has to be coming from the camp," White told MMAFighting.com. "[...] The reality is, this isn't a team sport, man. You look throughout the history of boxing, guys used to have to spar with each other all the time and the guys who came in as sparring partners eventually became world champions some day. You have to train with other people. You have to train with the best. It's a fact. You just don't become such "close friends" that you don't want to fight each other. It's [expletive]."
Evans should straight out call for the winner regardless of training camps and "friendships."
"If I was Rashad, I would say whoever wins this fight I wanna fight," White said. "The guy got injured; he was next in line for the fight. I'd wanna fight him too. But now he's gotta sit around, he's gotta wait and see what happens with these two, he's gotta wait to see who wins — do they come out 100 percent or are they injured and have to wait a little while or do they want to fight again? He's put himself into a bad position and that's what I was saying about him: He's boxed himself into this corner."
You can watch UFC 128 right here on Yahoo!
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