Rashad Evans will still get his title shot next, but he will have to face friend, new champion, and former teammate Jon Jones to get that gold belt back around his waist.
The most stunning part of that statement of course is the ‘former teammate’ part.
It appears as of now, Rashad Evans has left Team Jackson and will pursue his training elsewhere as he prepares for his showdown against Jon Jones.
Rumors of Evans’ exit from the team surfaced a few days ago, but just about everyone around the former Michigan State wrestler denied that it was happening. Now according to UFC president Dana White, Evans has indeed left the team and will face Jon Jones with a renewed vigor.
“From what I understand, he has left Greg Jackson’s camp. He’s no longer with Jackson’s,” White revealed to MMAWeekly.com.
“Rashad and I have had our differences, and we’ll probably continue to have our differences, but Rashad is 100% on board to fight Jon Jones, and is actually very fired up about the opportunity.”
Sources close to the situation have mentioned a couple of camps where Evans will train as he gets ready for his fight against Jones at an as of yet undetermined date.
Evans has close ties with the team at the Grudge Training Center in Colorado, where he has worked extensively with coaches like Trevor Wittman, as well as fighters like Nate Marquardt, Shane Carwin and Brendan Schaub.
The other place Evans will likely call home for some of his training will be the Renzo Gracie Academy in Manhattan. Evans has trained with the team before, and Team Jackson’s Keith Jardine just recently revealed to MMAWeekly.com that he intends to train there as well over the next few months.
At this time, there is no determination when Evans and Jones could face one another, but the new UFC light heavyweight champion mentioned following his win on Saturday night that he owes it to his family to take some much needed time off.
How much time that will equal out to remains to be seen, but Jones already knows now that he will be facing Rashad Evans for his first title defense, and now it’s no longer teammate vs. teammate.