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Rashad Evans leaves Jackson’s MMA for good

What initially seemed to be an innocent comment from Jon Jones a few weeks ago in relation to a future fight against Rashad Evans has since spiraled into a situation resulting in Evans’ decision to leave Jackson’s MMA, his professional home for the last five years, while also blaming the irreparable rift on long-time head coach Greg Jackson.

The former light heavyweight champion took to Twitter over the weekend to tell his side of the story, writing, “I will not use Greg ever again. I really haven’t used him in a while anyways,” while also explaining he had only trained with Jackson five times total in preparation for his last two fights (point-based wins over Thiago Silva and Quinton Jackson).

The permanence of the move was backed by further statements from Evans who pointed the finger squarely at Jackson as the primary reason behind his departure from Albuquerque for a yet-to-be-named camp.

“Greg brought this situation about. He brought Jones on board a while back against my wishes are here we are today. I decided to leave (Jackson’s MMA) because I felt like he didn’t have my best interest anymore. Greg is not the same coach he used to be.”

Evans did not elaborate on how Jackson had changed or reveal any specific sources of resentment. No potential landing areas were mentioned either in terms of where he’ll prepare for a future title-date with Jones.

Under Jackson’s tutelage “Sugar” ‘Shad compiled a 10-1-1 record in the Octagon including wins over Silva, “Rampage” Jackson, Chuck Liddell, and Forrest Griffin. He is 15-1-1 overall in his career with five TKOs to his credit.

  • redwire says:

    He’ll be back.

    Diego Sanchez ring a bell with anybody?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

  • FightFan313 says:

    “Greg brought this situation about. He brought Jones on board a while back against my wishes are here we are today” = Rashad is scared

    Well-Done. Thumb up 24 Thumb down 5

  • Rece Rock says:

    I don’t think Rashad is scared…
    If he’s saying he was against Jackson taking on Jones into the jackson camp it’s probably due to the fact that Rashad is not an idiot and saw a young LHW fighter with a lot of potential that Jackson would probably be able to help further along and Why would Rashad co-sign on that? This is his career? why would he want to help mold a guy whose going for the same goal as him?? He’s a former LHW Champ whose 15-1 waiting in the wings for another shot and basically will be a pereranial contender for some time to come, always in the mix… so why would he want another contender/ champ in his weightclass to be in his camp? So he can either be in the Kos/Fitch scenario which is retarded or he has to fight a guy who knows him in and out… I’m not a big fan of Rashad but I kinda see his point, He felt he was the priority and He reads Jackson as having Jones as priority… I think this match up will be emotionally charged and that could be a good thing or a very bad thing guess we will have to wait and see. Hopefully Rashad can compose himself and make this match up as competitive as possible.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 27 Thumb down 1

  • boomnutz says:

    Rece I think you nailed it pretty well, he wanted to nip it in the bud, which is understandable, although business is business and Jones is probably going to make Jackson a lot of money over the next few years, so I think he could have been less selfish about it. It’s just a bad situation, wish he wasn’t being a baby about it is all i’m trying to say, and btw the Jones is going to fuck him up, he’s got absolutely no advantage here…

    I wish he would have sucked it up and made the move to MW, i’ve been calling for it for awhile now. He’s soft and doughy at LHW, he has a smaller frame than most fighters too, he already has the speed and i’d be willing to bet he’d retain his power if he made the cut. He could be a beast at MW, but nah he’ll just be a baby and get beat up at LHW…Rampage was right about him

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

  • Lethal Liquid says:

    Rashad is a sanctimonious little bitch. Whatever resentment he feels won’t matter when Jon Jones gives him a biblical ass whipping. This is a good side story, but he is outclassed in everyway. Can’t wait to see this matchup go down.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 14

  • qat says:

    He can go down to MW later if he gets smashed by Jones. He thinks he has a chance, or at least he knows hes gonna make good money out of that fight, so let him do that. If he dropped to MW now it really would look like he is hiding from Bones..
    I dont think he is scared, look at his record, he fought every god damn good lhw except Shogun, which he was set to fight before crazy set in.
    Its business, i think he acts all disappointed and stuff mainly to already hype the fight, and to change camp for this fight is just logical. I guess he will be back as well.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  • qat says:

    See it worked already, Lethal Liquid wants to see that fight, good for both fighters.

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  • Rashad is just pissed because Bones became Jacksons A number 1 light heavyweight. He’s also probably mad because Jackson told both these guys that he wont be blamed for teammates not fighting each other…i like this fight…Rashad is going to get smashed in this fight.

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  • RicM says:

    Hey all,not sure if I’m recalling this correctly,but didn’t Rashad just earlier make a statement saying he would drop to MW if Jones won,and was encouraging Jones to “go get that belt”? If thats the case,sounds like someone is getting sour about his team-mates success….

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  • boomnutz says:

    he said something to that effect, he even mentioned HW…

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  • Rece Rock says:

    Rashad said he would make the move to a diff weight class but then Jones gave an interview saying he would fight him because its his job and he basically will do what id asked of him… so rashad felt disrespected after they mutually agreed that them fighting wasn’t an option… so Rashad responded with taking the fight, what was he supposed to do? have a young guy he helped out call him out and then say hey it’s just talk from a young dude?? no you take that title shot and get that money if feelings get crossed- shit happens in the end win or lose you know these guys are going to hug it out and keep it moving…business is business.

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  • stone says:

    BRashad just narrowed his chances of winning this fight. Jackson & Jones will have a “bullet-proof” game plan. Rashad should’ve really pushed the issue of Jones leaving instead of himself. Hopefully Rashad gets a descent team/camp going. IMO, this is NOT the fight to “start from scratch”. Jones is going to do Rashad BAD! Maybe Rashad should get with AKA or Team Quest. Any other opinions on which camp Evans should go with?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  • MCM says:

    I’m glad to see Rashad leave GJ’s. I think every fighter needs to switch camps every couple of years or so just to get out of their comfort zone. Jardine recently left Jackson’s because he got complacent. Keith now trains with Jon Chaimburg, Renzo Gracie and did most of his training for his last fight at Zuma in Canada. And by leaving his comfort zone he actually started winning again. Liddel never left The Pit and look where it took his career. Everyone always complains about BJ not getting out of HI, and when he did bring in someone knew (Hughes), we saw a whole new side of him. Sanchez may be happier now that he’s back at Greg Jackson’s, but he earned himself a title shot when he was away from it.

    I think Jackson’s and Grudge are arguably the best MMA training camps out there. But that doesn’t mean they are the best training camps for every fighter all the time. I’d like to see what the teams at AKA or even Xtreme Couture could do with Rashad.

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  • Rece Rock says:

    Apparently Rashad still has a trainer which has been a mainstay of his for quite some time… Rashad has also stated that his last 2 fights he spent the bulk of the time training with Grudge, soo i think as much as this will play out in the media I think the advantage of training with Jackson camp has already been nulified on his end… I think the fact that both guys trained heavily together is more of an advantage to both men then the coaching… Each man has seen each others weakiness’ first hand and will look to expose them at any chance they get. You can’t coach experiance and both have experianced each other multiple times in training. I think Rashad is clearly the under dog BUT he def. has a fire lit under his ass and I hope this turns out to be a FOTN contender and these guys leave it all out there including the emotion and the hard feelings, tough love baby, somebody’s going to learn a lesson or teach a lesson that night.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • neijia says:

    Agree with both MCM and Rece. It’s good for Rashad’s game to get training elsewhere. And how can Jackson NOT make a good business decision to take on a much younger hotter prospect? At only 23, Jones could potentially dominate for 10+ years – maybe he’ll be training with Jackson all that time if Jackson is lucky (is what he’s thinking).

    With crap mma math, Jones destroyed Rua. Rua destroyed Machida, who destroyed Evans. Evans has the odds against him but should of course take his payday. Maybe he knows how to deal with the absurd reach – absurdly long lever powering those elbows for gnp from the guard – spinning elbows, side kicks, and effective jab … nah probably not but you never know.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • Rece Rock says:

    Actually If Greg Jackson was less of Businessmen and a better coach then what he should have done was stick with Rashad not train Jones and say that’s the Kid there going to call the “future” and our new goal is to smash him and get back to the top. But it seems Greg just wanted another star pupil…

    neijia – MMA math doesn’t equate to anything except on paper.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • I think it depends on what you define as a better coach. Certainly this shows his business side but on the other hand maybe he has more fun with Jones and is intrigued onto what great heights he can acheive with this scary young monster. Rashad has added some great boxing and counter striking to his arsenal but beyond that what has he really done to up his game? and please no one point to the shawn salmon head kick, that was a great KO for sure, but it wasnt the most technical kick just a heavy one.
    On the other scope of things Bones has taken a very athletic and experimental striking game to a technically superior striking set up with even more flashy moves to compliment his every growing all around game. he’s added a few submissions and even shown some great BJJ. Rashad(to the best of my knowledge) has still never attempted a submission in the UFC and in my eyes that’s sad that someone who has a stellar game like Sugar hasnt tried to expand upon an already successful plan of attack. either way I think in the end Jonny will be too much for him.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • boomnutz says:

    superdave, on top of that I think Greg Jackson has his own brand of jui jitsu too, usually his fighters get better at subs…

    And to Rece, why the fuck would Greg Jackson have turned away the opportunity to train Jones??? just to appease the cry baby? I mean this is a business, not social hour, and after all isn’t it beneficial for fighters to train with other great fighters? In my opinion, having Rashard and Jones was good for business (attracts other top fighters and adds resources to Jackson’s disposal) he didn’t have a problem training with Keith Jardine…

    He’s acting like a child plain and simple, it’s understandable for him not to want to be in this situation, but he needs to start handling it like a man. It’s happened to other fighters before where they’ve left camp to fight someone at the camp, and afterwards returned to the camp and everything was cool (Tyson Griffin/Evan Dunham for example)

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  • bigbadjohn says:

    Hasn’t grown much as a fighter? Rashad got his black belt in BJJ last year. So what if he hasn’t attempted a submission? How much Haterade can one guy get from you guys? He’s 18-1. He’d whup 95% of your favorite fighters

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  • hindsightufuk says:

    much as i dont like rashad as a fighter, hes a cool guy, and an upstanding brother, funny as fuck, and has already beaten most of my favorite fighters

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  • Dufresne says:

    It kinda sounds like Rashad is bitter that he’s no longer the LHW at the center of attention at Jackson’s gym. I could be 100% wrong, but I seem to remember Rashad saying he wouldn’t fight Jardine back in the day because they were good friends and not too long ago he was saying that Jones was a good friend of his on MMA Live on ESPN. What’s changed since then? The only thing I can figure is that he feels slighted because this young kid came into “his” gym and has everyone talking.

    Regardless, Rashad needs to get out of Jackson’s gym and get some variety in his training, especially in his standup. I would like to see what a guy with his athleticism could do if he went to AKA for a bit.

    I may hate the guy’s personality and how he acts in general, but I can’t deny that he’s got impressive natural skills and is a pretty damn good fighter.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • boomnutz says:

    agree Duffman, now if he just stopped acting like a punk (Rashard, just when I was starting to like you gotta go and get all bitchy…) and dropped down to MW, he’d be a killer

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • Rece Rock says:

    boomnutz my point was if your the best coach in mma then the real challenge is to mold one of your own guys into the machine to beat the skillful new comer… it’s much less of a challenge to mold the already naturally gifted into a champ… But that’s just my opinion.

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  • Creature says:

    Personally idk the whole story behind this, rashad could be acting like a gay little crybaby orrr there could be something alot more to it.. idk so not gonna comment on it. i think rashad will end up in AKA or Xtreme Couture.. IMO those are the best 2 camps outside of jacksons with some of the best fighters especially around his weight..

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  • boomnutz says:

    i hear ya…but as a coach you also salivate at the idea of a working with a guy with such talents…

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  • Angry Mike says:

    Rashad is quick, elusive and a good counter puncher. I think he could be a bigger threat to Jones stylistically than Shogun was. Regardless of Shogun’s conditioning or whether he was injured, his aggressive style played to Jones’ strengths.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Yourdaddydevilandlord says:

    It’s not that he won’t fight friends or teammates, he fought Mike Whitehead on TUF and they were joking about where they would hit each other, it’s just that he doesn’t want to fight a guy who probably was owning him in training everyday. He didn’t mind Jardine because he wasn’t intimidated by him. He knows he is going to get absolutely decimated.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • Sykotick says:

    He and Mike Whitehead didn’t get along in TUF.
    The one you’re thinking about is Tom Murphy,
    Whitehead didn’t like him cuz he was Matt Hughes’ teachers pet and Hughes didn’t like him cuz he showboated.

    As for the story, I think there is more to it than people are being told.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Rece Rock says:

    this is from October…..

    “To me, being able to call Rashad when we’re 40 years old and say, ‘Let’s go fishing,’ that’s more important than a paycheck that we would get today. I train with the guy. We’ve had conversations about personal things.”

    “Rashad’s a unique character to me,” Jones said. “There’s not many guys that I can relate to like Rashad, and preparing to do physical damage to him just doesn’t add up to me.

    “Fighting Rashad is the last thing I’d ever want to do.”

    Hmmmm this fight is either going to be really good or really gay…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • Rece Rock says:

    “It would be majorly awkward for us,” he said. “Rashad and I have a lot in common. We’re both young, African-American men with families. We both like to sing and have fun. We’re both elite MMA fighters. We have a lot in common and we both clicked really well. There’s so many other great fighters in the world that we can compete against. And we’re not animals, we’re friends, we’re people, we’re human beings, so I’d hate to have to fight my own teammate. I would never want to.”.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • Rece Rock says:

    We both like to sing and have fun…? What goes on in Jacksons camp after hours? :)

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    Both men are in the business of fighting. Both men get paid well to do it.

    Why isn’t it possible for two men to act like adults go out and do the job they are both paid well to do and keep things on as much of a business like level as possible?

    I understand not wanting to hurt a friend but, this is your job and you are expected to do it. I’m sure there is some subtle pressure from Dana and Zuffa on Bones to fight Rashad but, maybe he just wants to put all the talk to bed and show the world he is a champ and isn’t going to duck anyone who wants some.

    I don’t see things ending well for Rashad. He may know Jones better than any other opponent but, he still has to eat punches to try to get close enough to do anything.

    Only way I could think to try to win would be full rush from opening bell and try to secure top position, GnP and control. The longer fight remains standing the smaller odds get of beating Jones

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0


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