UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was expected to finally face off against his arch-rival and former training partner Rashad Evans this winter at UFC 140, but the match-up was postponed for the second time after it was determined that a thumb injury Evans suffered in his August tilt with Tito Ortiz would not allow him to be ready in time for the fight.
Now, Jones is on deck to face a different former champ in Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida, who defeated Evans back in 2009 to win the belt himself. Bones was asked today at the press conference held to officially announce UFC 140 whether his motivation was challenged by twice having his desired grudge match with Evans pulled and replaced with a bout against someone else. The 24-year-old explained that he has no trouble finding motivation for any opponent, as he always knows what he stands to lose. And as far as Rashad Evans goes, Jones admits that he views it as a huge fight and one that he would hate to lose – that alone is enough to have him keeping his head down and working hard.
“No, not at all,” responded Jones when asked if he was having a hard time getting motivated to face Machida. “I realize what I could lose in losing the fight that’s in front of me now. When it comes to the question of getting up for the fight, that’s definitely not an issue. And as far as getting up for the Rashad Evans fight, I mean, after all the drama that’s gone on over the last year or so, it’s a fight that I absolutely cannot lose. I’m actually taught to think of a fight like, no fight’s a big fight, it’s just another fight. Don’t fight the legend, just fight his body and see what happens. But, with Rashad, I’m really trying to teach myself, ‘This is not a big fight Jon, this is not a big fight Jon.’ But it’s a huge fight to me right now, so I wouldn’t want to lose either one of them. As far as getting up for fights, I’m up.”