If Rashad Evans is able to get past Tito Ortiz at UFC 133 next month in Philadelphia, he already knows what his next challenge is going to be.
UFC president Dana White said on Thursday that if he’s victorious, Evans is guaranteed the winner of the upcoming fight at UFC 135 between light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Evans seems to have unfinished business with both competitors and a history of comments that will serve as a great story with whichever fighter comes out the winner.
Jones is a former teammate of Evans under Greg Jackson. After Jones replaced him at UFC 128 and defeated Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to claim the title, the two entered into a verbal sparring match that eventually led to Evans leaving the camp altogether.
Evans also has quite the backstory with Jackson after coaching opposite him during the 10th season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” They then fought at UFC 114 in May 2010. Evans and Jackson engaged in a war of words before the fight that might rival the most fiery trash talk in the history of the sport.
But now Evans has a whole new vested interest in the fight because he gets the winner if he’s able to defeat Tito Ortiz at UFC 133, and he’s fairly sure he knows who it’s going to be.
“I think it’s going to be Jon Jones,” Evans told MMAWeekly Radio when asked to predict a winner. “I would like to see Rampage catch him with something, but I honestly believe Rampage is not doing what he needs to do, and he’s not going to do what he needs to do to win the title.”
Jackson’s training habits have come under scrutiny in the past, but with the title on the line, will the fit, trim and ready to rumble Rampage show up?
Rashad Evans doesn’t think so.
“He’s just been living off of fumes of his Pride days, and he really needs to go and take things seriously,” Evans commented. “If he took things seriously, I think he might be able to do something, but he ain’t trying to take nothing serious.”
Is Evans’ prediction spot on or can Quinton “Rampage” Jackson recapture the UFC light heavyweight title?
Only the events of UFC 135 will tell the tale.