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Rashad Evans Claims Jon Jones Previously Promised They Would NEVER Fight

Written by Tom Ngo
March 21st, 2011
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UFC Light Heavyweight Rashad Evans

On Sunday, Rashad Evans bombarded his Twitter account to try and explain his side of the daytime drama that’s developing in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. After what “Suga” told BloodyElbow on Monday, it was clear 140 characters per post wouldn’t be enough to get his points across.

Evans depicting the Jon Jones transaction:

“When Jon Jones came to the gym over a year ago Greg Jackson came to me and said, ‘Listen, what do you feel about having this kid on the team?’ I told him straight up that I didn’t like it. I told him that the kid was talented and that the sky was the limit with him, but that was the type of guy I wanted to fight not train with. Greg came back saying, ‘No, no, no this will be just like you and Keith where he will be just like a brother.’ I still told him that I didn’t want to do that.

“Then Greg said if that situation ever did arise between Jones and I that he would have to turn the fight down because that’s how it works. He would have to turn down the fight with me so that way I wouldn’t be put in a position where I looked like a punk. That’s how it works in the Greg Jackson system.

“After a while Greg was so high on this kid coming in and I met Jon Jones and he was a very nice and very sweet kid, so eventually I said [expletive] it, let’ s bring him in. After he got there and I trained with him and tried him out a little bit, something didn’t feel right so I moved my camp up to Denver to train at Grudge for awhile. That is where I spent the majority of my time over the past two fights.”

Evans’ budding brotherhood with Jones:

“For my last two fights I have trained with Greg Jackson five times. During my time at Grudge I wasn’t really dealing with Greg too much but were maintaining a great relationship and friendship so after my last fight I decided I was going to head back to Albuquerque to train with Greg and everything felt good there. My training went great. Jon and I were clicking on another level almost like I did with my first training partner.

“It was starting to get to the point where it was like what Keith and I have where we feel like brothers. We would share ideas and I wasn’t holding back on him and I felt that he wasn’t holding back on me and I knew that because there were days where Jon would have some rough days in the gym. We worked a rough pace and if you are competing at this level and you train with someone everyday you can tell when they are struggling. I did my best to help and I really felt that our friendship was on another level … but that wasn’t the case.”

When Jones crossed the line:

“When the first opportunity came and [Jones] said that he would fight me if Dana said so, that to me stung more than anything. He said that he didn’t want to lose his job and look man, the UFC isn’t going to fire anyone because they are turning down fights. If anything it would mess up future opportunities for them and they weren’t going to come to him and say, ‘If you don’t fight Rashad you are kicked out of the UFC.’ That wasn’t going to happen.

“I was always considerate and respectful to our system because if I had the belt then I would want you to do the same for me. Then he comes across on national TV and says that he will fight Rashad if Dana White tells me to and I felt so [expletive] utterly disrespected.

“I mean it’s one thing to say something in an interview, but the least you could have picked up the phone and been like, ‘Man, I did an interview today and they kind of put me on the spot with a rough question and I answered it this way.’ At least give me the head’s up … Then for Greg to sit back and say he doesn’t want to have anything to do with it …. why not? You [expletive] created the situation. Be his coach and be in his corner. That’s what you want so do it. I don’t care if coaches against me. It doesn’t even matter.”

Is Evans calling Jones a liar?:

“Over a year ago Jon Jones was like, ‘Please let me be on the team and I’m so excited to be on your team and I’d never fight you.’ He was a kid that was excited to just be a part of the team because it was going to change his career.”

There’s no “I” in team, and there’s no Evans either:

“In all honesty, I’m going to create my own camp from here on out because I’m not going to get bit again. The one thing I’m finding out over the course of this situation is that this is a business. It’s no longer what it used to be or how it was when I got into the sport or when Greg Jackson got into the sport. Before it was much more of a brotherly connection, wanting to see your teammates do well and to get in there because you really loved training together. There was a much better connection but now it’s business and it’s about money and has turned into a lot of things it has never been about for me.

“Now that it’s become that way to me in some respect I’m going to do my own thing. I don’t need to have a team around me and I’ll bring in what I need. I still maintain great relationships and I’ll work with Keith Jardine, Nate Marquardt,  Georges St. Pierre … all of my teammates all of my brothers. I’ll still work with all of them but I’m not going to be a team guy anymore.”

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