Even After Facing Jon Jones, Rashad Evans Won’t Train with Team Jackson Again

September 27, 2011
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Jon Jones and Rashad Evans

Following the events at UFC 135 over the weekend, the light heavyweight title picture is already clear for what happens next with Rashad Evans getting his shot at Jon Jones.

The storyline between Evans and Jones reads like a Hollywood script.

Evans, who had been trained for several years by head coach Greg Jackson, saw a young buck by the name of Jon Jones welcomed into camp with open arms. With both fighters in the same weight class, there was an unspoken, if not spoken, agreement that they would not fight each other or impede their goal to become champion.

That all stopped for Evans when Jones said he would fight his teammate before talking to him about it first. Evans abruptly left Team Jackson, formed a new team in Florida, and now his one-time friend will soon stand across the cage from him as his No. 1 enemy.

Like any great competition however, when the dust settles and cooler heads prevail, everyone wonders if Jones and Evans could ever become friends again, and would the former “Ultimate Fighter” winner ever go back to work with his longtime trainer and coach Greg Jackson?

“No, I don’t think I’m ever going to train back at the Jackson camp,” Evans said recently. “I will go back to Albuquerque (N.M.) at Mean 1, at Keith (Jardine’s) gym, but the things at Jackson’s camp, they’re just different now. It’s not the same no more.”

Evans started training with Jackson right after his time on “The Ultimate Fighter” season 2 and had been there ever since. In the early days of the now famous gym in New Mexico, Evans was there alongside fighters like Diego Sanchez, Keith Jardine, Joey Villasenor, and Nate Marquardt.

But as the sport grew bigger and Jackson’s coaching techniques started to produce more and more winners, the gym also elevated in size and accomplishment. Evans says that’s when the atmosphere changed for him, to the point where he didn’t feel like it was home anymore.

“Back in the day, it was like we were all family. We were really tight with each other. But now it’s gotten so commercial, Greg is always gone all over the place, and it’s just not family no more. It’s too transient. You can pay a certain amount of money and you can come and live at the Jackson camp and it just got so transient, you’d see so many different faces come and go. It’s just not the same place as before,” Evans stated.

“Like before, I could leave my mitts on the mat and then come back, and I know they’ll still be there. Now I leave my mitts on the mat for five minutes, I’m like, who got my mitts?”

The beginning of the end for Evans at Team Jackson started when Jones first came to train at the camp. Evans explains that it’s that whole situation that has caused him to sever ties with Greg Jackson altogether, and doesn’t see how the bridges that have been burnt will ever be rebuilt.

“It’s beyond a blame,” Evans said about the Jones situation. “Greg knew what he was doing, what was up with it when he brought him into camp, and that’s why I don’t have too much to say to Greg anymore.

“Because it’s like you knew I told you about this before it even happened, and you sat up there and said ‘if you can’t trust your friends, who can you trust,’ but then when it goes down you want to wash your hands and walk away and so ‘oh, I had nothing to do with this,’ but you brought it to make it happen. So I don’t like that, and I don’t respect that.”

Evans was in the cage with Jones on Saturday night at UFC 135 following his win over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, but the former light heavyweight champion didn’t make much eye contact or anything with his former trainers who stood in the cage along with him.

It’s clear that when Rashad Evans meets Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title, there will be more than just gold on the line. For Rashad Evans it’s a matter of principle and respect, and he’s planning on taking both along with Jones’ belt when they meet.

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  • BigGuy

    I can’t wait to see Jones wipe the floor with RETARD Evans! Evans doesn’t stand a chance. Jones by TKO in the 3rd!!

    • emoney911

      Rashad is such a whiney bitch he got all mad when jones was like ya ill fight him if dana says i have to jones was just bein professional and its part of the job rashad has sand in his pussy and jones is gonna fuck up his bitch ass and make him do the stanky leg

  • Bob

    This will be Evans last 15 minutes of fame at 205. He should drop to 185 after he recovers from the Jones beat down!

  • rsnowbass

    I wonder if Evans will make anymore of his stupid cartoons before the fight of himself laying up against the cage unconscious…

  • Danjitsu

    Who told all the Sherdog trolls to come post at MMA Weekly? This is a news site, not a kiddie smack talking forum, children. Sure Bones is the favorite, and he should be, however Evans is not a “Retard”, he is a former champ who earned far more than “15 minutes of fame” and he is not the one who made the “cartoons” (um, photoshops you meant?) you are talking about. Seriously you idiots, if you don’t have anything interesting or intelligent to add, just shut up. Damn, nothing more annoying than anon internet douches who have never accomplised a thing in their lives using a news article as vehicle for them to run thier mouths. Shut up.

    • MrAdidas

      Very nicely said my friend!

  • I think Rashad is a talented fighter and he has accomplished a lot in our sport. He certainly has a chance over Jones on fight night. Personally, I think Jones will get the win and beat Rashad. It will be a good fight. What I do have a problem with is the drama that Rashad seems to always get himself into. I just don’t appreciate the “ghetto drama” that some people bring into any sport!! Whether it was Greg’s fault or whatever, Rashad seems to always get himself in these kinds of debacles with people. It’s just uncool!! GSP and Condit are about to fight. They both train with Greg Jackson and nobody can say they have caused this much whinning and crying!! That’s why GSP and Condit are so liked as fighters. They bring it and they have class as martial artist!!!

    • MrAdidas

      Jose: GSP & Condit did train at Greg Jacksons but they never trained together, nor are they friends. Condit said when he & GSP were at Jackson’s camp in NM at the same time, he was on one side of the gym & GSP was on the other.

      The situation with Evans & Jones is that they were very very good friends & they had an agreement with each other that they would never fight each other… EVER! But then Jones said in an interview that he would fight Evans (Jones didnt even talk to Evans about that 1st – which is disrespectful)

      I think Greg Jackson – Jon Jones & Rashad Evans are all too blame for this drama. (IMO)

  • illeeturbabys

    this fight should be all Jones, most likely by KO or TKO, if rashad is willing to engage…unlike when he fought rampage…maybe his great footwork will keep him alive for awile but i c a few takedown attempts comin from rashad after bein rocked a few times….

  • jared499

    @ josehernandez

    You have to remeber that the fighters also need to build the fight up as well. Some of the “ghetto drama” as you call it, is helping to promote this fight, and I am sure the UFC/Zuffa has no issues with that. The same thing for all the crap that comes out of Sonnen’s mouth when he promotes fights. There will always be a need for this type of self promotion in the sport, to make it more desireable for certain fans. I know that some of us just want to see good fights, but others want there to be a good backstory for the fight. I think that it will be interesting to see how much of this is actual truth when the fight is over, seems real, but you never know.

    That being said, I think that Jones takes the fight in Rd3-4 by KO/TKO or ref stoppage. I do not think that Rashad will engage Jones like we all hope, so this may be a good test for Jones Takedown defense and fighting from his back.


    It is all real. I am the one that asked Rashad if he would ever go back to Jackson’s Training camp at the Q & A before the UFC 135 weigh in’s. Rashad was joking around and having fun. Then I asked him the question and he got very serious. Also you could see Jon Jones whole demeanor change when Rashad entered the ring after the fight. I have met Both fighters and they were both very respetful individuals. It’s to bad they couldn’t remain friends. BUT I cant wait till they FIGHT. I fully expect Jon “Bones” Jones to finish that fight! Jon is the Pound for Pound best fighter in the world!