The team of trainers and coaches under the umbrella of Greg Jackson are some of the best in the business, and while Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn operate out of New Mexico, the teams at Grudge and Montreal's Tri-Star are considered as affiliations. In the midst of the fallout, Rashad Evans has declared he has no concern for what remains on the other side of the fence in Albuquerque, but shared that he does have an ace in the hole in a long time coach that will remain by his side.
In an interview given to Duane Finley for bloodyelbow.com, Rashad offered some insight on his plans for the future.
"In all honesty I'm going to create my own camp from here on out because I'm not going to get bit again," Evans replied when asked about future affiliations. "The one thing I'm finding out over the course of this situation is that this is a business. It's no longer what it used to be or how it was when I got into the sport or when Greg Jackson got into the sport. Before it was much more of a brotherly connection, wanting to see your teammates do well and to get in there because you really loved training together. There was a much better connection but now it's business and it's about money and has turned into a lot of things it has never been about for me. Now that it's become that way to me in some respect I'm going to do my own thing. I don't need to have a team around me and I'll bring in what I need. I'm not going to be a team guy anymore."
"I have a secret weapon in all of this," Evans shared. "One of my coaches who has done all of his work behind the scenes and without recognition is Mike Van Arsdale. He is one of the best coaches I've ever had in my life and he doesn't get any credit for what he has done. As long as I have Mike Van Arsdale I don't care where I have to train or who I have to fight because I know Mike is going to get me ready. For my last few fights it's been Mike Van Arsdale and Trevor Whittman. I'm still going to work with Trevor as well but Mike Van Arsdale has really been that dude to me. He's been that dude the entire time and without Mike it don't matter. Jones can have whoever he wants. Take Mike Winkeljohn. Take Greg Jackson. He can have whoever he wants and take the entire team. Like I said it doesn't matter anymore and it is what it is. In fact it will probably be better for Jon if he stays there and keeps getting coached by them because if he goes somewhere else they are just going to use him. He could get caught up at the other end of the spectrum and things could turn out not too good for him. Who knows? He should stay where he's at, I'll go where I'm at and then we'll fight like we've done so many times already in practice."
Jon Jones vs Rashad Evans, who wins ?
Regardless of what feelings and emotions may rise and fall throughout the dissolution, the hard fact remains that Evans will face the newly crowned Jon Jones inside of the octagon. While the entire situation has created tension, the part of Evan's heart that once cared still managed to show through.
Elliott Saltares is a sports pundit, fan, and contributing writer for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on twitter @elliottsaltares.