“I saw Jon this past week at the fighter summit and we were at the same location. He pulled me to the side and he said ‘Rashad, I need to talk to you, I think things are getting out of control.’ I thought it was pretty mature for the young guy instead of just ignoring me. First thing he said was ‘I just wanna be the first to tell you is I’m gonna destroy you, I’m gonna annihilate you and I’m gonna show the world you’re overrated. I’m gonna punish you and you’ll be my first highlight reel knockout’ and I just started laughing… You brought me out here to tell me you’re gonna destroy me? Let’s not even talk about how stupid that sounds. Why would you wanna come way over here to say that in private. Furthermore, how did you even come up with that? He’s like ‘Rashad, remember when I was catching you with knees and elbows in training’ but I said ‘I was simulating Bader. I wasn’t trying to beat you, Jon. I was simulating Bader and what he might do’ I told him, ‘do you remember when I held you down and I was slapping you and punching you in the face and you were underneath me and you couldn’t move and then you looked me in the eye and said ‘Ok, can we get up now?’ and I said ‘No Jon, if you quit now, you’ll quit in the fight. You gotta earn your way up,” so we fought some more and you couldn’t move some more and you said ‘can you help me?’ and I said ‘No, you have to earn your way up’ and we go for a little bit longer and you still can’t get up so you roll on your back to let me choke you out thinking I’d let you up and be satisfied with that but I didn’t. I continued to make you work up.’ I said ‘do you remember that?’ and he said “yeah, I remember that’ and I said ‘that’s why you don’t want to fight me’ and he was just lost for words for a second and he told me, ‘Rashad, you just motivating me. You don’t know what you started’ and it just went like that and it just ended when a couple people from our parties separated the two of us. He couldn’t let it go… There’s no doubt in my mind Jon ducked me in this fight. Jon knows it and I know it. There’s really know way around it. It’s hard for me to imagine with Jon thinking he’s so great and that he thinks he can beat me but it’s just odd. When you don’t take a fight with somebody for one reason or another, that’s one thing, but to make up an injury, say you have an injury and you go as far as to say you’ll have surgery and then you don’t have it. That’s clearly a sign that you don’t want to fight somebody.”
I don’t mean to beat a dead horse with this story, but I am curious if you guys think Jon Jones ducked Rashad Evans? I’m on the fence, but at the very least I agree that the Jones’ camp mishandled the situation from a PR perspective.
On a side note, Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis has been declared the official headliner for UFC 133 in Philadelphia. It was believed that a UFC featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes was going to headline that card, but all signs are pointing to that fight moving to a different show for unknown reasons.
Update: Malki Kawa has now given MMA Junkie their side of the story. He says they’ll fight Rashad Evans in October if the UFC wants to do it. Of course, the problem is Rashad is headlining UFC 133 now.
“From the very get-go, we said we wanted to fight Rashad,” Kawa said. “But that always meant fighting in August. We can’t do it in August. We always told the UFC it was going to be September or October before Jon would be ready. His hand was hurting, and he needed the time off. Even before he saw a single doctor, we told the UFC September or October would probably be best.
“The champ will be ready in September or October. That’s only a month or two after Rashad’s fight with Phil Davis. I can understand not wanting to wait in case something else happens with Jon’s hand and the fight has to be delayed more. Rahsad got bit in the ass doing that one time before. But don’t tell me that the champ doesn’t want to fight you. The champ wants to fight you. Jon hasn’t done anything to duck this fight. The only reason people think that is because Rashad said so. Jon’s not ducking anybody.
“If Rashad wants to do October and Dana White’s OK with it, let’s do it in October. We’re ready to rock and roll.”
If I had to guess, I bet the UFC will delay Jones’ first title defense till Nov-Dec and pit him against the Evans-Davis winner.