After a year of slinging insults and swagger jacking, light heavyweight king Jon Jones and Rashad Evans (Pictured) will finally have the opportunity to settle their differences this Saturday as UFC 145. However, will their beef actually be squashed once the confrontation concludes?
Although their feud is the most bitter the sport has witnessed in quite some time, in staying with true mixed martial arts tradition, it appears the friends-turned-foes are prepared to bury the hatchet once they’re done beating each other’s brains in.
“After the fight’s over, you know, the fight’s over,” Evans stated during a recent conference call. “I don’t find it to behoove me any kind of way to carry on any kind of grudges. It is what it is. Do I think we’ll ever be best friends? No, but there is definitely going to be some respect. So, I’ll just leave it at that.”
Jones echoed the same sentiment. “Bones” knows things will never be the same between the former teammates. Nevertheless, just because they will never be BFFs doesn’t mean they have to be mortal enemies.
“I’m a guy who really has no problems with anybody in the UFC,” Jones expressed. “Not one fighter can say they have a problem with me, not that I know of anyways. So when I go to the events, I’m always laughing, I’m hugging all the guys and we’re all having a good time. And yeah, I would like to be able to be at a UFC event or a fighter summit and not feel awkward to be in the same room as Rashad.
“It would be cool to be like, ‘Hey, good fight. Blah, blah, blah.’ And just keep it moving. We’re adults here, and it’s not like I don’t know Rashad. To be like men after that fight, that’ll be cool.”
Jones claims he’s attempted to take the high road throughout this ordeal, while Evans has instigated most of the exchanges. Of course that was another point “Suga” disagreed with, but at least from Evans’ perspective, he’s stuck within the parameters of proper trash talking.
“I don’t have any regrets. I feel like I’ve spoken from my heart, and as long as I’ve done that, I don’t feel I’ve violated anything in that respect,” Evans said. “That’s one thing I don’t try to do, I don’t cross the line. Because there’s things you can do that cross the line and I don’t think I’ve crossed the line, by far. I’m pretty satisfied with the way things went.”
UFC 145 takes place inside Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.