It appears when Jon Jones goes for his third consecutive title defense, he’ll be one man short in the corner.
Head coach Greg Jackson has battled back and forth on whether or not he would corner Jones against his former student Rashad Evans when the two go to battle at UFC 145 in April.
Jackson has commented that he was leaning towards cornering the UFC’s reigning light heavyweight champion, but according to Jones he’s not expecting Jackson to be there that night. He does, however, think Jackson will get him more than ready to face his former friend and teammate.
“I don’t expect him to be in my corner,” Jones said on Thursday. “I was just saying this recently in an interview, Greg has taught me this whole thing about being an artist and being a great artist and he said ‘in order to be a great artist, you need a great coach, a great teacher. You need someone who’s always giving you new paint and new paint brushes’ and that’s what he’ll do leading up to this fight.
“He’ll give me lots of new tactics, lots of new ways of thinking and approaching the sport and then I’m going to have the canvas on April 21st to paint a new masterpiece.”
Jones has certainly found his artist’s stroke working under Jackson. The New York native went 4-0 in 2011 en route to winning and then defending the UFC light heavyweight title.
He will still train under coach Greg Jackson, as well as striking guru Mike Winkeljohn, as he prepares for his April showdown with Evans.
For his part, Rashad Evans seemed fairly indifferent to Jackson’s involvement in the fight. He says it’s been quite some time since he’s spoken to his former coach.
“We don’t have a relationship; we don’t really talk no more,” Evans commented about Jackson. “I haven’t talked to Greg in probably a little over a year.”
The two former teammates will finally face off at UFC 145 on April 21 in Atlanta.