Jones, Evans tangle at UFC 145

Jon Jones, right.

Rashad Evans has very real animosity towards Jon Jones.

He has an opportunity on Saturday night to use that animus in order to get back something he feels is his.

“I really want to fight Jon, but I also want to be champion again,” Evans said in a joint conference call last week with Jones to promote their UFC light heavyweight title fight at UFC 145 in Atlanta’s Phillips Arena. “I’ve been talking for over a year. It’s just time to fight.

“I just want to fight already.”

The long-awaited, highly-anticipated showdown between Jones (15-1-0) and Evans (22-1-1) is rooted in feelings of betrayal. Evans has claimed that he was uncomfortable with the idea of Jones joining the Jackson-Winklejohn camp in 2009.

Evans took offense to seemingly innocuous comments by Jones prior his UFC 128 light heavyweight championship fight with Shogun Rua. In separate interviews, Jones said he did not understand why he was questioned about Evans and would fight him if UFC President Dana White asked.

Evans had been slated to meet Rua for the title at UFC 128, but was replaced by Jones due to a knee injury Evans suffered during training camp. Jones decimated Rua in spectacular fashion to become the youngest champion in UFC history.

Jones’s title win sped up the fissuring relationship with his Evans, his former friend, and the Jackson-Winklejohn camp.

Since leaving the Jackson-Winklejohn camp last March, Evans has routinely criticized Jackson for bringing Jones into mixed martial arts’ pre-eminent camp. Evans’s argument has been that Jackson would not have the inclination to effectively prepare him for fights.

Evans is now a member of the self-titled “Blackzilians” camp in Florida. He has won both of his fights since joining the school.

“I told Greg [Jackson] at the time I [didn’t] think it’d be a good idea [to bring Jones into the camp], but Greg did what Greg wanted to do for Greg. That’s why Greg brought him on because Greg wanted to do what he wanted for Greg,” Evans said.

“I haven’t worked with [Mike Winklejohn] since the [Lyoto] Machida fight [in May 2009],” Evans said. Machida knocked out Evans to win the light heavyweight title. It is Evans’s only loss in 24 professional fights. “With Greg Jackson, it [was] pretty much the same thing. From [fights against] Thiago Silva to [Quinton] “Rampage” [Jackson], I trained with Greg a total of five times.”

Evans’s denigration of Jackson prompted Winklejohn to convince his partner to join him in cornering Jones Saturday night. Initially, Jackson was going to sit the fight out because of his previous relationship with Evans.

Jones pointed out that the camp has “a stable of fighters.” Jackson-Winklejohn has an impressive array of fighters that includes UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre and interim UFC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit.    

“In Greg Jackson’s defense, he’s not going to be able to cater like he used to when he only had eight elite fighters,” Jones said. “People are honored to go and train with Greg Jackson and he has to cater to each person.

“A gym like Jackson’s is not a place for the selfish.”

Follow Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.