Not so long ago Rashad Evans was enjoying the limelight as the next challenger for Jon Jones, and he’s watched on with interest at recent events which has saw the champion turn down a last-minute fight with Chael Sonnen at UFC 151, resulting in the card being canceled.
Like many other fighters, Jones former training partner believes he should have taken the fight that was offered to him by the UFC despite having only eight days notice.
“You have a tremendous responsibility as the champion,” Evans told ProMMARadio earlier this week. “You are the champion of the UFC. Not only that, you became champion of the UFC through circumstances like this. You had the opportunity to fight for someone that was injured. He stepped into a fight, after I got hurt, so he stepped in for me to fight Shogun. So, he was rewarded by the very process of somebody stepping in to take a fight. So, he owed it to the UFC to take the fight. Not only that, he owed it to all the other fighters on this card who are going to be missing paydays because of that.
“And lets not talk about how the UFC has done so much to make him the face of the UFC. They sponsored him. Everything he’s gotten is because of the UFC, the whole Nike endorsement and everything else like that, has all been because of the UFC. When he got in trouble a few months back, it was the UFC who stood behind him and kind of made it go away relatively quickly. So, for him to turn his back on the UFC is very hard to believe, for one, but it’s just disappointing. I’m sure one day, when he has the time to understand the ramifications of his decision, he’s is gonna think, ‘Wow. What did I really do?'”
Some may accuse Evans of being biased given that he’s not long removed from his grudge match with ‘Bones’, but the former champion insists it’s not like that and that he actually feels disappointed about how things have panned out for his rival.
“Dimming his light doesn’t make my light any brighter. So for me, I just feel bad,” he says.
Having said that, in a manner of speaking Evans is actually now planning to dim Jones’s lights as it’s been announced that he’ll be stepping in Vitor Belfort’s head coach for his upcoming fight with the champion at UFC 152 next month.