Former Ultimate Fighting Championship light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans plans to give current champ Jon Jones a reality check when the two MMA fighters meet inside the Octagon (rumors currently point to UFC 140). Evans, who is currently next in line for the UFC’s light-heavyweight title, feels he’ll be able to shock Jones when the two MMA fighters compete for the belt.
“Right now, this dude’s on cloud nine,” Evans said while talking to ProMMARadio.com. “He thinks that he’s God’s gift to the fight game. I think he’s gonna think that he can just walk right through me. Now that he’s beat ‘Rampage,’ he’s gonna think that there’s nothing I could do. He’s seen my style and he’s gonna think there’s nothing I can do. He’s gonna go out there and just try and embarrass me. He thinks it’s gonna be an easy fight, but he’s gonna find out different.”
Originally teammates at Greg Jackson’s academy, the relationship between Jones and Rashad turned sour after Jones was given the opportunity to replace the then-injured Evans in a title fight against Mauricio Rua at UFC 128. The relationship between the two MMA fighters got even worse, when Jones pulled out of their originally scheduled bout due to a hand injury. Some including Evans didn’t buy Jones’ injury, claiming it was the champion’s way of punishing his former teammate.
Evans does have a few reasons to be confident right now, given his last performance inside the Octagon. Evans was impressive against fellow former champion Tito Ortiz at UFC 133, winning the MMA fight via TKO in the second round. Evans looked like a different MMA fighter against Ortiz, displaying an increased level of aggression.
Given the fact Evans is familiar with Jones’s fighting style, he should be a tough challenge for the UFC’s youngest champ. I do expect Jones to pass the test and dominate the light-heavyweight division for years to come.