Even though Jon Jones now has his next opponent lined up for UFC 140 in Toronto, because the name on the other side of the marquee doesn’t read Rashad Evans, questions are still coming in about to former friends turned enemies.
Jones now faces Lyoto Machida in the main event of the upcoming card in December, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t still curious about the explosive match-up between Evans and Jones at some point down the road.
While Evans is still on Jones’ mind because of the bad blood that has continued to surface between the former teammates, the UFC’s top light heavyweight knows that he can’t focus on the future when he has an opponent like Lyoto Machida that’s very much in the present.
“I realize what I could lose, and what I could lose in the fight that’s in front of me now. So when it comes to the question of ‘getting up for a fight’ that’s definitely not an issue,” Jones said on Wednesday about facing Machida.
Still, Jones can’t forget about all of the things that Evans has had to say about him over the last several months and when they finally do square off, it’s going to be something special.
The magnitude of that match-up is something undeniable to everyone and that includes Jon Jones.
“As far as getting up for the Rashad Evans fight, after all the drama that’s gone on over the last year or so, it’s a fight that I absolutely cannot lose,” Jones stated.
Over his young career, Jones has been careful not to build up any one fight as bigger than another. Even when he was fighting Mauricio “Shogun” Rua for the UFC light heavyweight title, he focused on fighting the man and not the laundry list of accolades that the Brazilian carried with him.
It worked out in Jones’ favor because he finished Rua and then recently put away Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to make his first successful title defense.
Jones, however, will be looking at the potential powder keg with Evans a little bit differently.
“I’m actually taught to think of a fight as ‘no fight’s a big fight, it’s just another fight.’ Don’t fight the legend, just fight his body and see what happens,” said Jones.
“But with Rashad I’m really trying to teach myself like this is not a big fight. Jon it’s not a big fight, but it’s a huge fight to me right now.”
The fight with Evans may be huge, but Jones is still focused on the task at hand and that’s facing the man that handed his former teammate his first knockout loss.
Lyoto Machida is every bit as dangerous as Rashad Evans and some would say even more so. Jones has no intention of looking past him in any way.
“I wouldn’t want to lose to either one of them,” Jones said about Machida and Evans.
The UFC light heavyweight champion will get the chance to prove that when he faces Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 in Toronto.