UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will finally (provided one of them doesn’t get injured, again) get to bury (unless their fight ends in a controversial decision or draw) his rivalry with former training partner Rashad Evans, which has simmered since Jones stepped in to fight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua for the title in and injured Evans’ place.
The two have gone back and forth spitting venom since, with several proposed match ups falling through due to injury incurred by one party or the other. With Evans’ recent victory over rising prospect Phil Davis, the two have been scheduled for an April meeting in the main event of UFC 145.
Though he knows things will certainly get uglier in the days and weeks leading up to their fight, Jones is actually hopeful that he and Evans can get to a point where they can demonstrate mutual respect, if not recover the friendship that they once had.
“We trained together and we had good times, but this competition has come between our friendship, which sucks,” Jones said recently on The Score (via CageWriter). “I do miss being friends with the guy. But it’s business, and he’s coming after my championship. I’ve gotta do what I’ve gotta do. It might be a little awkward punching him in the face, but I’m sure the first time he swings at me, it will get reactionary.
“I’d like to get to a point of being cordial, but to be friends again is not necessary. There’s thousands of wonderful people in the world I can meet. After all that’s been said, we can just live our lives. Respect is all that’s necessary for me.”
UFC 145 is set to take place on April 21 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.