The personal issues between Rashad Evans and UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones are well known by most. For the few who aren’t aware, the two were once teammates at Greg Jackson‘s gym in New Mexico. After Jones won the title, replacing an injured Evans to score the bout, “Bones” said he was fine with facing “Suga” ‘Shad if so required by the UFC. The 24-year old’s ease with fighting a supposed friend angered Evans, prompting him to leave Jackson’s MMA and found “The Blackzilians” group in Florida.
Now, with both men on the cusp of finally facing off with one another inside the Octagon instead of through media appearances, Evans is taking the approach he of all people understands what it will take to defeat the dynamic title-holder.
“I know I will beat Jon Jones,” said Evans in a recent interview with UFC. “He can talk about improvements he’s made, but there are still some things in his game he can never change. He’s a long, rangy fighter and I’m going to get inside, unleash my stuff, take him down and ground and pound him. I’m at a level in my career where I can take down and ground and pound anyone.”
“I’ve got the advantage mentally, too,” Evans continued on the topic of taking out Jones. “He’s not, ‘Jon Jones unbeatable champion,’ to me. I know the real Jon, the nervous kid who would ask me to tell him how to dress, how to talk and how to fight.”
With their fight scheduled for next month at UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans in Atlanta, expect plenty more talk from both men before Evans can prove his experience is the key or Jones once again wows by taking out a former champion.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC