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
International

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth pulls off epic photobomb

The selfie / photobomb has gone viral.

Local

Astoria minivan crash kills 1, injures 6: NYPD

Anthony Boyd, 45, died soon after what investigators believe was some sort of medical emergency as he drove his family through Astoria on Sunday afternoon.

Local

NYC pension funds valued at $160b: Scott Stringer

The five NYC pension funds that thousands of city employees contribute to saw its fifth year in a row of increased returns, up $23 billion from last year.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Television

Kacy Catanzaro credits mind over body in "American…

Kacy Catanzaro credits her victory to mental focus and upper body strength.

Movies

The 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' trailer is…

Watch 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' trailer.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Tech

Amazon offers 3D printing to customize earrings, bobble…

By Deepa SeetharamanSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and…

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…