Jon Jones and Rashad Evans may have been friends at one time, but having now agreed to fight each other it appears that there’s no holds barred in their verbal exchanges as they prepare to do battle later this year.
There’s been a lot of mudslinging already, particularly from Evans who’s been taking regular pops at his rival, calling him ‘Judas Jones’, a ‘swagger jacker’ and likening him to ‘fake’ 80’s pop group ‘Milli Vinilli’.
Looking beyond the trash-talking, the two have also began to share something much more relevant to their upcoming fight – insights into their training room battles against each other at Jacksons MMA.
And really that’s the most intriguing thing about this match-up. Did Jones have his way with Evans there the way he has with everyone else he’s faced in the Octagon so far, or was Evans able to take advantage of weaknesses in the champions game that only a training partner would know about at this stage in his young career?
Depending on who you listen to either version of events could be applicable.
Take Jones for instance. In a new interview with ESPN.com he indicates that he had the upper-hand on their one-on-one sessions.
“We fought each other in practice,” Jones recalls. “A finish has been possible several times and it has always been me finishing him. I never did it out of respect that he was the elder of the school. It’s against protocol in a way. Some people would do it but I believe in tradition.”
That sounds reasonable, after allJones looked virtually unstoppable as he manhandled Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua to claim the light-heavyweight title recently.
Let’s not forget that Evans is a former 205lb champ himself though, and it turns out he has a different recollection of how the two fighters matched-up together.
“@jonnybones must b high! Cuz remember him looking at me begging me 2 let him up cuz he couldn’t get back 2 his feet in training,” Evans fired back on twitter after reading Jones remarks.
“U ain’t forgot what I can do 2 u! Dont believe your hype! As your coaches! I’m gonna introduce the world 2 the real u!” Evans continued.
Personally I’d be inclined to believe that there’s a grain of truth to both sides of the story. What happens in training doesn’t always mirror what happens in the cage however, so unfortunately we’ll have to wait until the two lock horns for real later this year.
In the mean time their comments certainly leave plenty of food for thought though, and are bringing some added ‘spice’ to this title fight.