When examining what exactly caused Jon Jones and Rashad Evans to the point where they stand on the precipice of a showdown at UFC 145, there’s no one root cause.
There were a myriad of factors involved including things from Jon Jones, things from Rashad Evans, and also things from coach Greg Jackson.
Evans points the finger at Jackson as the catalyst for the whole situation to unfold after bringing Jones into the camp. Jones was a rising star in the light heavyweight division at the time.
For his part, Jackson has no problem taking some of the blame for how it all came to this. He doesn’t back away from the mistakes he made, but he also admits he’s not infallible.
“I always try to take my responsibility in every situation, even if it doesn’t go well. There was a protocol thing that I’ve said before that I said was big, we should have had earlier on, and I think that’s directly and 100-percent my fault that we didn’t have a plan for when this stuff would happen,” Jackson told MMAWeekly Radio.
“I take responsibility on that end of it for sure. We weren’t ready for it. A lot of people had to pay prices for that.”
It wasn’t the first time in his life Jackson made a mistake, and it surely won’t be his last. He’s just sad that it all crumbled apart the way that it did, and now it’s led to Jones and Evans facing off in one of the most heated rivalries in UFC history.
“I’m going to make mistakes. I’m a human being. I’m not perfect at all. It was just an oversight. I didn’t wake up maliciously one morning like I’m going to do this stuff. It was more like I should have done this and in hindsight I can see that. It just wasn’t a reality up until Jon and Rashad,” said Jackson.
“I feel like I could have done that much better. I don’t think Rashad had to react the way he did and things kind of escalated quickly because of that, but it was my fault that I didn’t have a plan for it.”
Because of the escalating situation between Jones and Evans, Jackson has now put in place a series of rules that encompass his team and his fighters should they ever have to face one another again.
The situation actually has already come up again because Carlos Condit will be facing Georges St-Pierre later this year with the UFC welterweight title on the line. Jackson points at those two fighters as the model for how things will be handled in the future.
“We have protocols for that now and it’s exemplified by the fact that Carlos and GSP are fighting each other now and there’s no animosity. They don’t hate each other. There’s no huge deal or any drama, or anything like that. A lot of it is about the reaction of the person,” Jackson commented.
“Georges is still solidly on the team. Carlos is still solidly on the team. Everybody is still one unit, but we’re just going to have these situations where we’re going to have to fight each other now. That goes for any time two people are on the team; I don’t corner either of them. Those are the protocols. There’s others too, but that’s the one that’s important. If you are both members of the team, I’m not going to corner against you.”
Will Jackson and Evans ever mend fences? That’s hard to say at least until after Jones and Evans face off at UFC 145, but Jackson hopes that his former pupil can at least one day shake his hand and move past the hurt feelings.
“I hope so. That will be up to him,” said Jackson about Evans. “I’m certainly willing to let bygones be bygones. I’m never a guy that holds a grudge.”
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