Rashad Evans feels like he got burned by his former camp at Greg Jackson’s over the situation with newly-crowned UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones and because of that, he is relocating his training camp to Imperial Athletics in Boca Raton, Florida. Evans spoke with BloodyElbow.com about his reasons for making the camp switch.
“In all honesty I’m going to create my own camp from here on out because I’m not going to get bit again,” Evans said. “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.”
Perceiving that the coaches at Jackson’s were putting more effort into training Jones, Evans had been distancing himself from the camp for his last few fights, spending most of his time training at Jackson’s MMA affiliate Grudge Training Center in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, along with Brendan Schaub, Nate Marquardt and more under the likes of Trevor Wittman and Mike Van Arsdale. Evans told BloodyElbow.com that he will be fine without Greg Jackson and the crew in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as long as he can still work with coaches Wittman and Van Arsdale.
“I have a secret weapon in all of this,” Evans explained. “One of my coaches who has done all of his work behind the scenes and without recognition is Mike Van Arsdale. He is one of the best coaches I’ve ever had in my life and he doesn’t get any credit for what he has done. As long as I have Mike Van Arsdale I don’t care where I have to train or who I have to fight because I know Mike is going to get me ready. For my last few fights it’s been Mike Van Arsdale and Trevor Wittman. I’m still going to work with Trevor as well but Mike Van Arsdale has really been that dude to me. He’s been that dude the entire time and without Mike it don’t matter. Jones can have whoever he wants. Take Mike Winkeljohn. Take Greg Jackson. He can have whoever he wants and take the entire team. Like I said it doesn’t matter anymore and it is what it is. In fact it will probably be better for Jon if he stays there and keeps getting coached by them because if he goes somewhere else they are just going to use him. He could get caught up at the other end of the spectrum and things could turn out not too good for him. Who knows? He should stay where he’s at, I’ll go where I’m at and then we’ll fight like we’ve done so many times already in practice.”