Even as a no-name newcomer on the Ultimate Fighter, outspoken light heavyweight Rashad Evans has never been afraid to express his opinion even if it’s an unpopular one. As such, it was no surprise when Evans decided to start going off on Jon Jones who he felt betrayed him as both a friend and training partner. However, it looks like Evans is finally ready to stop talking and start fighting.
The two will finally settle the score in April at UFC 145 where, according to Evans, he’s hoping to notch a repeat of his memorable knockout of Chuck Liddell as it took place at the same venue in Atlanta.
“I’m just looking forward to fighting him to be honest,” revealed Evans in an interview with Five Ounces of Pain. “A lot of the back and forth and a lot of the drama is so old. I’m tired of hearing people say Jon is going to do this to you and he said this about you. It seems everyone has their own opinion. For me, I am just looking forward to getting it on. I had a good experience in Atlanta when I fought Chuck and hopefully it’ll turn out the same.”
One thing that will definitely be different this time around pertains to the 32-year old’s preparation. Evans, who called Greg Jackson’s gym his professional home for years, has since left New Mexico as part of the fallout from the animosity towards Jones and trains in Florida with the Blackzilians group.
“Down here it’s more organized and there are a lot more talented guys,” said Evans of the differences between the camps. “There’s just a better overall atmosphere down here. I’m a silly dude and I like to joke around. I like to make things a little lighter and funnier. It’s crazy the way things are now and how they were when I first started. I thought things would always be the same, but now things have changed so much. Keith Jardine just came down to train with us for awhile and seeing him was nice. Keith and I said we would never fight and that’s the way things were supposed to be with John, but I guess he didn’t feel the same way.”
As far as what might be next for Evans after Jones, assuming he wins, “Sugar” feels a date with Dan Henderson is inevitable. While that means “Hendo” will have sat on the sidelines since November, Evans has no problem with the veteran’s approach given what he’s accomplished as of late.
“I definitely think Henderson is next in line. I heard he’s going to wait and face the winner of my fight with Jones. I mean it makes sense for him to wait. At his age he has every right to sit out and wait to fight for the belt,” explained Evans, who himself had a notorious bout with twiddling his thumbs in relation to an anticipated title-shot.
“These opportunities don’t come around every day. He’s still going strong; he’s out there and still doing his thing,” Evans concluded on Henderson.
Fans can catch Evans-Jones finally hash their issues out inside the Octagon on April 21. Other featured bouts include Brendan Schaub-Ben Rothwell and Che Mills-Rory MacDonald.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: It’s funny that Evans says he’s tired of the drama, yet takes a shot at Jones in the same interview relating to loyalty. Either way this is going to be a great fight, and I will definitely be on the edge of my seat when it goes down next month.