Only fifteen fights in to an already spectacular career, UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones is becoming a seasoned professional at both his craft as well as the art of the mind-games often employed by adversaries as a means of obtaining a psychological advantage.
Fresh off a win over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, a highly-respected fighter who accused Jones of having a spy during the weeks leading up to their September scrap, “Bones” is now looking towards his next challenge on both the competitive and trash-talking front – Rashad Evans.
Former teammates at Greg Jackson’s gym in New Mexico, Evans has blasted Jones in the media a number of times and even confronted him in the Octagon directly after the title-wearing 24-year old beat “Rampage” a few weeks ago.
The latest incident rubbed Jones the wrong way, an issue he recently addressed in a conversation with MMAWeekly.
“He’s flapping his gums, talking to himself, to try and convince himself that he’s ready and he has this and he has that over me,” Jones explained. “Rashad is saying he has my number, he knows what he can do, and he knows all this stuff. I know all this stuff (about him) as well. I do really good (at improvisation). I’m excited to see what I can do with somebody I’ve went with several times before.”
“When I spar my team, there’s a level of respect that’s always there. To let that clutch off for the first time and go into turbo mode on him, it’s gonna be interesting. I know where he’s open and I know where he’s gonna try and take the fight,” Jones concluded.
No date has been set for Jones vs. Evans though, health allowing, it will likely occur at some point in the first quarter of 2012.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: At 14-1 with a plethora of dominant performances and his only stumble occurring as the result of a disqualification, is there any reason to doubt the 205-pound champ? I for one cannot WAIT to see this score settled, and since the Ultimate Fighter heads to FX with a new “live” format it would make a lot of sense to put the two together on the show as coaches and see what goes down.