On April 21, the animosity, speculation and egos will be locked inside of an octagon, and the opportunity of mending an old friendship will likely be severed.
Jon "Bones" Jones has a plethora of accolades under his belt. His title belt.
On March 19, 2011, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua was staggering backward to escape a bombardment of diverse strikes from Jones. Serenely pursuing, Jones landed a sweeping left hook to the body that buckled Rua. As Jones attempted to connect with a knee in the clinch, referee Herb Dean was already mercifully stepping in to relieve Shogun.
Jon Jones—realizing he had just written history—sat in the middle of the ring looking at the pandemonium surrounding him, almost as if he was trying to take a mental picture to reminisce upon later. The 23-year-old New Yorker had just became the youngest MMA fighter to earn the title "champion" in the UFC.
Jones filled in for his injured sparring partner, and arguably onetime mentor, Rashad Evans. And the two's friendship remained unchanged, until Jones' interview with Ariel Helwani drove a wedge between it.
This is the point where details are partitioned, and one story becomes two.
One thing is certain: Evans vs. Jones is real. Very real.
The verbal jabs are not calculated propaganda, they're genuine. UFC 145's main event is as much about punctuating an ego-fueled story with an exclamation mark as it is the light heavyweight championship.
Jon Jones will write the ending.