Rashad Evans isn’t exactly on the Jon Jones bandwagon, and he’s looking forward to his opportunity to shock the MMA world at UFC 145.
Evans and Jones started off as sparring partners. But things quickly got out of control when Jones entertained the idea of potentially fighting his teammate. Things haven’t been the same between the two ever since, with Evans constantly taking shots at his former teammate and trainers.
With less than two weeks before their UFC 145 showdown, Evans still has a lot of animosity towards Jones and former trainer, Greg Jackson, but he does feel the whole situation could have been avoided.
“I think it was a bit the media, but we definitely built it up as well,” Evans said in a recent interview with MMAWeekly.com. “It’s something that was brewing for a while before the media even caught it on camera. … The thing about it was, we couldn’t let people get into our ear and tell us we should do this. That’s what happened with Jon. Jon let people get into his ear, and then he started to say things and act a certain way. That seeped into the relationship. You hear [UFC president] Dana White talking about, ‘Well, they’re not really that close anyway,’ and all this stuff about our relationship, planting those seeds. He’s not getting that out of nowhere. He heard that somewhere, so who’s telling him this? I’m thinking it was either Jon or his instigating manager.”
It’s pretty clear motivation won’t be an issue for Evans at UFC 145, and he’ll probably be Jones’ toughest test so far. Rashad has been able to dominate all prior opponents – with the exception of former light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida – with his wrestling, so we just might get to see how good Jones’ bottom-game is at UFC 145.
Even though Rashad places most of the blame – for his split with Jackson’s camp – on Jones, he’s certainly just as guilty. I don’t think Jones was trying to call out Rashad when he indicated he would fight his teammate if White turned up the pressure. But Rashad took things the wrong way, quickly lashing out, leaving Jones with no other alternative but to fire back.