“I want to be clear to other reporters, that I absolutely HATE when people mention Rashad Evans, especially throughout this training camp. He’s a friend of mine but I’m fighting Mauricio “Shogun,” one of the best fighters that’s been around for a long time. So for people to even be mentioning Rashad Evans right now, I think, is ludicrous. Rashad is not in my mind, he’s not in my being, he has absolutely zero to do with my heart and who I am right now. Right now it’s me vs. Jon Jones and right now I’m beating all the weakness out of myself, I’m beating all the give-up out of myself, I’m beating the lack of cardio, I’m beating the lack of confidence; any sign of weakness that’s within my heart right now, I’m getting rid of it. The fact that people are bringing up Rashad, it almost angers me. Rashad has nothing to do with “Shogun” and I think from hear on out I won’t even answer a question about Rashad.”
—Jon Jones on the UFC 128 conference call, via MMA Mania, blasting reporters for asking him about fighting his teammate Rashad Evans
Whoa, someone struck a nerve. For someone Jon Jones is supposedly close friends with, who he trains with on a regular basis, it sure seems harsh to say “he has absolutely zero to do with my heart and who I am right now.” I doubt that’s something Rashad Evans is going to enjoy hearing. It will be very interesting to see where this Jones-Evans subplot goes over the next few months, especially considering they’ve both conceded they would fight each other.
One person who won’t be involved if they fight though is their mutual head coach Greg Jackson. He told Bloody Elbow’s Duane Finley he wants nothing to do with it.
“It’s definitely difficult and it’s a situation that I always up to the fighters and how they feel about it,” Jackson replied when asked about teammates fighting one another. “I don’t want anything to do with it. But then again I have an easy position. I hold a bucket so it’s really not up me.”
Some of you said a rivalry might be brewing. If Jones manages to beat Shogun, I think you might be right.