There was an uncomfortable moment inside the Octagon last night when Rashad Evans was asked to step in and challenge his friend and team-mate Jon Jones for the light-heavyweight title.
The two had previously vowed not to fight each other, and Jones had claimed Evans was “a mentor” to him, but with pressure mounting on them they finally relented.
It’s far from an ideal situation for the former champion though.
“This whole situation’s awkward, but it is what it is,” Evans admitted to Ariel Helwani after the event.
Therefore it’s become a bitter-sweet moment for the former TUF season 2 winner who’s went on to become one of the biggest names in the sport.
“I’m happy for the dude, he went out there and fought well, happy for him that he looked phenomenal, but at the same time, he’s got that strap so now I gotta go and get it.”
After such an impressive performance from Jones many who watched will be scratching their heads wondering how the young phenom can be beaten. Evans feels he has an advantage over many of the other fighters in the division though.
“I already know how to fight him, I train with him,” he replied.
Now that they’re fighting each other the fact that they are both products of the Jackson’s camp has become a major issue, and you get a real feeling from Evans that he feels betrayed by his coaches.
“I’m done with Jackson’s, I’m done,” he says angrily, looking almost tempted to walk away from the interview prematurely.
As for when the fight might take place, Evans says he’s up for the challenge, “Whenever Jon’s ready to do it.”
Watch Evans full post-event interview below.