Though former UFC light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans is currently scheduled to fight Phil Davis this summer, it’s hard to ignore the collision course that he’s on with current champ Jon Jones.
The former training partners went from being as close as brothers, by their description, to bitter enemies in the short amount of time it took Jones to nab the title from Shogun Rua and agree to fight Evans in his first defense. Bones opted to address a lingering hand injury rather than to face Evans out of the gate, indefinitely postponing their in-cage meeting.
The tension between the two has grown to the point of being electric and their much talked about confrontation at last week’s UFC fighter summit makes it clear that this is a fight that fans want to see and soon. Evans detailed the incident during an appearance on FightLine.com’s official radio show, Pro MMA Radio.
“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,” told Evans.
“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 then 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.”
Before Evans can settle his beef with Jones, he must get past another promising young fighter in Phil Davis, whom he meets in the main event of UFC 133 this coming August.