Things got tense between former training partners Jon Jones and Rashad Evans as soon as it became clear that the two were on a collision course and once Jones defeated Mauricio Rua to win the belt — the same belt that Evans was next in line to fight for — both men left their friendship behind.
Most recently, the professedly humble Jones took a dig at Evans during an interview with ESPN.com’s Josh Gross, indicating that he used to handle his older training partner frequently in practice.
“We fought each other in practice,” said Jones. “A finish has been possible several times and it has always been me finishing him. I never did it out of respect that he was the elder of the school. It’s against protocol in a way. Some people would do it but I believe in tradition. He has a lot to study. I have a lot to study, but I get to study[ing] more in-depth. He gets to study[ing] and gets a headache.”
In addition to labeling him a “swagger jacker” and accusing “Bones” of being MMA’s version of Milli Vanilli, Evans refuted his younger’s claim that any such beatings took place in training, communicating via Twitter that it was actually the other way around.
“@jonnybones must b high! Cuz remember him looking at me begging me 2 let him up cuz he couldn’t get back 2 his feet in training..,” posted Evans.
Evans left Jones with a warning: “@jonnybones u ain’t forgot what I can do 2 u! Dont believe your hype! As your coaches! I’m gonna introduce the world 2 the real u!”
A date has not yet bee set for Jones and Evans’ meeting, but it is already shaping up to be as electric a contest as we’ve seen.