The relationship between training partners Jon Jones and Rashad Evans, which they have described as brotherly in the past, seems to be growing strained now that the two men both reside at the top of the UFC’s crowded light heavyweight division.
Evans was forced out of a planned title shot against champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua after injuring his knee in training and it was Jones the UFC eventually chose as his replacement for Shogun tomorrow night, setting off a string of events/conversations which seem to have taxed both men. Originally, Evans was supremely supportive of Jones, predicting his victory and even pledging to move weight classes should “Bones” establish a lengthy championship run. Evans hasn’t changed his tune on the outcome of the bout, but has since rescinded his offer to change weight classes.
Since he will be staying at 205lbs., speculation naturally began over how the light heavyweight title picture should be sorted out if Jones wins the belt tomorrow night with Evans holding the top contender’s spot. In the past, the two remained staunchly opposed to fighting one another, but Jones softened his stance, saying that he and Evans wouldn’t want to get fired for not fighting and that, if the UFC called for it, the fight would have to happen. In response, Evans said that he’s “no punk,” indicating his willingness to face the young dynamo.
The two finally spoke to each other on camera about a potential bout between the two on last night’s episode of ESPN’s MMA Live, you can watch their remarks at around the 10:45 mark.