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We know that Jon Jones and Rashad Evans were friends at one point in time. They may not have been as close as the UFC made them out to be in the lead-up to UFC 145, but they were, at the very least, training partners.
That all changed when Jones stepped out of Evans' shadow and captured the UFC light heavyweight title. Evans moved to Florida and helped found the Blackzilians fight team, leaving Jones to become the centerpiece of Jackson's MMA in New Mexico.
And after a slew of delays, the pair would finally face off last April, but not before a war of words could reach its absolute zenith.
Here's Jones discussing Evans' claims that the champ is cocky:
“Rashad is the one who takes a lot of things, his own personal demons, and he tries to stick ‘em on me, almost like a nametag he’s peeling off his shirt and putting onto my shirt,” Jones said. “Like ‘cocky.’ Before I came along, Rashad Evans was the king of cocky.”
Here's Jones discussing Rashad's chin:
"When I watch my first fights I used to flail. Everything's flail-y, and I realize the power of flexing your abdominal when you try to strike and things like that. I definitely feel as though I'm hitting harder, and I'm excited. I wobbled Rampage (Jackson) a little bit when I hit him, and I wobbled Lyoto (Machida) when I hit him, and I think out of all those guys, Rashad has the weakest chin. I think he has the weakest chin of anyone I've fought since 2010, and I think I'm going to exploit that."
Jones talked about his reasons for wanting to end his rivalry with Evans in emphatic fashion:
"Jealousy fuels Rashad, to some degree. I think it's safe to say, yeah, absolutely safe to say. I think it's very weak emotionally on his part. That's why I can't wait for this fight to be over. I have no problem with him. Right now, I have my kids, I have my girl, we have our place together, I'm following my dreams. I'm doing the right things in life. I'm on the right track. Rashad is the one who looks at this whole story like, you know, this guy's went off and created his own team and he's left the people who were there for him in the beginning. He's the one who is going through this whirlwind in life right now. And I just can't wait to put him out of his misery and solidify me being the light heavyweight champion and telling him to go have a seat somewhere."
Jones would indeed beat Evans at UFC 145, defending his light heavyweight title yet again. Evans, meanwhile, hasn't competed since that night in Atlanta.
Looks like the champ got his revenge.