UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will make his first title defense of 2012 against an ex-teammate and past champion, as “Bones” collides with Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC 145 later this month.

For several months now, Jones and Evans have verbally sparred, as the two have had matches cancelled due to injuries to both men. Now, with their date set for April 21 from Atlanta, the stars appear aligned.

Evans, who missed out on a title chance back in March of 2011, has done all he can to try and get inside the head of Jones, who became the youngster UFC champion ever when he defeated Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in place of Evans. As “Bones” told the London Free Press recently, Evans will not control his thoughts.

I love that he talks so much crap because the more crap he talks, the sillier he’s going to look when he loses that fight. Rashad’s just a pawn in this game that I’m playing. Nothing more.

Jones knows that he will be facing a stern test in Evans, but if the former NJCAA national wrestling champion can avoid getting trapped in Evans’ mental game, he should be able to earn another victory over a former champion.

Photo credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting