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As Rashad Evans Says He’s ‘Done’ with Greg Jackson, Shit Gets Uncomfortable in Light Heavyweight Division

(Vid: MMA Fighting)

For being one of MMA’s more tried-and-true institutions, there is always something a little awkward about those postfight confrontations in the cage between champion and challenger. Emotions are running high and the heat of the moment has a way of testing fighters’ grasp of the English language, spawning hilarious internet memes and sometimes even sparking enormous, embarrassing brawls. Still, we’re not sure our sport has ever seen an in-ring altercation as hard-to-watch as Jon Jones and Rashad Evans at UFC 128. Both dudes looked more like they were entering into a suicide pact than agreeing to face-off in a professional sporting contest as they mumbled halfhearted “trash” talk into Joe Rogan’s microphone and then sealed their impending friend-vs.-friend fight with the world’s least enthusiastic handshake.

We’re talking second-season-of-the-British-“Office” levels of discomfort here, like The Situation bombing at Donald Trump’s roast or Carl Lewis singing the anthem at that Bulls game. Everybody involved (including us) couldn’t wait for it to be over. Immediately afterward, when Evans cut the above interview with Ariel Helwani where he declares he’s “done” working with Greg Jackson’s camp and then Jackson himself had to think of five or six different ways to explain how badly this situation sucks for him, we realized: We’re just getting started here. In Jones vs. Rashad, we may be poised on the brink of the most uncomfortable feud in UFC history.

The UFC, obviously, is loving it. Rashad wasn’t up there in that cage in his suit and giant tie knot by accident, after all. No, by insisting on this fight Dana White has found a golden opportunity. He gets to stick it to Rashad, who irked him first by sitting out nearly a year waiting for Shogun, then by momentarily asserting he didn’t want to fight Jones; he gets to stick it to Greg Jackson, who he’s clashed with in the past over the camp’s “safety first” style; and he gets to stick it to all the other fight camps – AKA, for example – who turn their noses up at teammate-vs.-teammate fights. We all know there’s nothing Dana likes quite like sticking it to people who disagree with him.

As sort of a happy accident, the company has also lucked into a hugely promotable fight and what seems like the perfect first match-up of The Jon Jones Era. With Jones now ensconced as UFC champ, the biggest problem for the UFC might well be finding compelling opponents for it brand new promotional juggernaut. That is, finding other top light heavyweights Jones won’t just instantaneously murder. The only guy who currently seems to fit the bill is Rashad and he comes factory-equipped with a killer storyline and fresh tests for the 23-year-old phenom.

As the UFC broadcast team correctly pointed out on Saturday night, we’ve never really seen Jones encounter any adversity in a fight. After Shogun proved totally incapable of providing any, it left us wondering exactly which light heavyweight contender could manage to give Jonny Bones a test. Maybe one of the fighters who knows him best? For the moment, it’s feels like that’s the best we can do, anyway. By setting up this fight we’ll also get to see how Jones – seemingly a consummate game-planner – is able to get himself mentally prepared to fight a friend. And the brother against brother plotline? Shoot, that sells itself.

First, though Evans is going to have to find a new camp. If Rashad continues to work out at Grudge Training Center in Colorado,  he will effectively pit the whole Jackson-Trevor Wittman alliance against itself, so we wouldn’t be surprised if he looks elsewhere. Early rumors have been about Black House, but any number of top camps seems to fit the bill.

Where ever he goes, he’ll go as a significant underdog and whatever happens next, it kind of seems like it’s going to be pretty painful to watch.

Cagepotato Comments

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glassjawsh- March 23, 2011 at 8:34 am
never once said or implied rashad beat tito. seriously, go back and check if it's not too difficult. since that is the crux of your argument, ill assume you won't reply
Dagnut- March 22, 2011 at 3:43 pm
Damn thats me off your Christmas card list I guess. Incompetent? you couldn't even get the results of his fights correct.. did you even watch his fights? Silva was very close to beating him how he didn't finish him I don't know.... Rampage also had him rocked and didn't go for the kill..Rashad has been lucky..You need to get of the ufc video game and watch some fights..I'm sure you can dig them up on line somewhere...theres a thing called "google" helps you search for stuff on the can also get fight results on there as well..might help you the next time you get into a you from looking like an angry little fool.
glassjawsh- March 22, 2011 at 1:06 pm
thank you for doing exactly what I said you'd do and prove yourself foolish and incompetent, now fade into hater obscurity
Dagnut- March 22, 2011 at 2:23 am
@glassjawsh..LOL screaming my opinion? You need to get laid. I don't need to research 7 fights I've watched all Rashads fights..I've seen near enough every UFC fight..that's how I form my own opinion not reading Sherdog and getting simple "facts" like Rashad drawing with Tito wrong.
If you bothered to read my original post, instead of running of to get your facts wrong, you would see I didn't say anything about not deserving his title shot, I said where does he get his credentials as a top fighter from...with no one else there he deserves the shot BUT beating one rusty top 5 fighter and a couple of stars on the slide does not give you the right to sit around for a year waiting as number 1 contender, then whine like a bitch when your team mate comes in and takes advantage of your injury.
Rashad seems to think he has the divine right to be a number one contender.
Rashad will lose to Jones, if his hand is not healed he'll lose to Rua, He'll lose in a rematch with Rampage and he'll go back to being the middle of the pack fighter he always has been.
fedorsbelly- March 21, 2011 at 11:33 pm
while you guys are in this war of whats what, and the who's whos'.
i would like to say.


I'm sure this has already been mentioned, but if you take a quick look at the 205 roster, I wouldn't put my money on anyone fighter for the belt.
dranokills- March 21, 2011 at 11:31 pm
Rashad is being a pussy. waaaaaa I'm done! I'm done with Greg Jackson, how DARE he bring in that young upstart nigga to upstage this nigga, fuck you jackson, waaaaaaaaa.
I don't care how much you trained with Jones Rashad, you are still not gonna beat him. Sad they can't even find a good opponent to fight this asshat Jones.
Wow I hate em both, can they both lose? can they break each others skulls and have their brains bleed to death? PLEASEEEE?
Abe Froeman- March 21, 2011 at 10:29 pm
@Dagnut..LOL. It would appear that way.

@Glassjawsh. That was about a 9 on the tension scale there, GoshJosh. I thought I made it pretty clear what my thoughts were on it all, but I'll quote myself,again.

"What you have is a bunch of people in the LHW division that haven’t taken that next step with their fight game. Sure, there are some people more deserving than others, but it’s like channel surfing when there’s nothing good on TV so you pick the show that sucks the least."

"We never got to see if Rashad could even beat Shogun? If Jones has a broken hand then Rashad’s next fight should be against Shogun. This will give Jones a chance to heal and also the UFC time to figure out who the #1 contender really is. If Shogun beats Rashad then he should get a rematch just like every other champion that loses the belt."

Relax, go back to your day job or go home and kick the dog around, whatever it takes to "get right." This is all based on opinion, my friend. Your opinion of the facts and my opinion of the facts.
glassjawsh- March 21, 2011 at 7:57 pm
now ill just sit back and wait for you to call me a dickless faggot because actually going out and researching 7 fights is too much effort for you
glassjawsh- March 21, 2011 at 7:53 pm
so essentially every fighter in the entire lhw division is terrible, washed up or hasnt fought anyone except for jon jones and possibly machida or rua? what the hell man? so no one who is currently fighting is worthy of fighting for the belt?

who among those mentioned has a better resume? NONE you fool all were ranked in the top 10 or near in the case of bisping at the time he fought them and that was the entire point

even though i know you're thinking it "durrrrr everyone sucks urrrrrr" is not an acceptable response

instead of screaming what constitutes as your "opinion" at me, give me someone who has a better resume in their last 7. then I'll even do you one better and to sherdog or SBN rankings to prove you wrong
Dagnut- March 21, 2011 at 7:04 pm
So you agree with none of what he said..
Abe Froeman- March 21, 2011 at 6:25 pm

I agree with most of what you said, except," Rashad’s last 7 fights have literally been the most brutal stretch of fights in the history of the UFC LHW division."

1.Tito hasn't been shit for a long, long time.

2.Bisbing's "undefeated record" isn't that impressive considering his only notable opponents, which he lost to, were Dan Hendo, W. Silva and of course Rashad.

3.Rampage was the one who ruined Chuck Liddell's chin...Jardine just didn't have the power to continue that streak. So Evans contributed, sure.

4. We never got to see if Rashad could even beat Shogun? If Jones has a broken hand then Rashad's next fight should be against Shogun. This will give Jones a chance to heal and also the UFC time to figure out who the #1 contender really is. If Shogun beats Rashad then he should get a rematch just like every other champion that loses the belt.

5.Machida is an idiot for taking the fight against Randy. If he wins, so what? If he doesn't, he's on the fast track to being a has been. Either way, who cares?

6. Rampage's game is outdated and I see him falling by the wayside this year, maybe next. You can't rely solely on punching, anymore.

What you have is a bunch of people in the LHW division that haven't taken that next step with their fight game. Sure, there are some people more deserving than others, but it's like channel surfing when there's nothing good on TV so you pick the show that sucks the least.
Dagnut- March 21, 2011 at 6:01 pm
I'm the moron? He drew with Ortiz who went on to lose his next 3 fights..he beat chuck after chuck got beat by Jardine ffs..and after chuck managed to beat Wandy everyone back on the chuck band wagon..Wandy coming off 2 losses..Chuck was finished.
Rashad has been lucky he's been around in a transitional period where the top guys have been knocking each other off..have either been in surgery or off making movies or drinking their own piss.
Rampage was rusty as hell in that's not just results on paper..
You mentioned him getting a split decision over a MW journey man as a notch in his belt...your the moron...that is laughable.
glassjawsh- March 21, 2011 at 3:06 pm
dagnut is a complete moron. Rashad's last 7 fights have literally been the most brutal stretch of fights in the history of the UFC LHW division. THINK ABOUT THIS (if you can do that) he fought tito right after tito lost to chuck for the title, then he fought an undefeated michael bisping, then he ruined chuck liddell's chin for good, then he beat forrest griffin (who's been in the top 10 since 2007), then he fought lyoto machida (who was undefeated), then he beat thiago silva (who was ranked in the top 10 and who's only loss was to machida) THEN he fought rampage (who is a killer, who's only loses in the last 8 years came against wanderlei, shogun, forrest and rashad and has been in the top 10 essentially the entire time)

use some objectivity dumbass
if that doesn't earn a title shot NOTHING earns a title shot

by comparison
Bones' last 7 fights: rua, Bader, Matyushenko, Vera, Hamill, O' Brien, Bonnar
Rua's last 7: Jones, Machida, Machida, Liddell, Coleman, Forrest, Overeem
Machida's: Rampage, Rua, Rua, Rashad, T Silva, Tito, Sokoufjou
Forrest's: Franklin, Tito, A Silva, Rashad, Rampage, Rua, Hector Ramirez
Rampage: Machida, Rashad, Jardine, Wanderlei, Forrest, Dan Hendereson, Liddell

now think about what you just said and feel awful about yourself
macreadysshack- March 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm
PS I like you, Morningwood but I can't believe you just said that.
macreadysshack- March 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm
Rua beat Machida you goddamn fucktards. Sorry for the cuss out but give me a fucking break with the 'who has he beat' bullshit. By your MMAth, nobody at 205 is worth a shit. Go cry someplace else.
Morningwood- March 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm
@Loki Jones beat Bader who was suppose to be the other next best thing. I agree Rua didn't beat anyone worth giving him a title shot.
HardKnockLife- March 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm
I really don't want to see Evan's Stanky Leg again...
That immortalized 'face' is burnt into my memory and every time I think of Rashad I think of how badly I don't want to see it happen again.
mma samurai- March 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm
I think the real issue Rashad is having is that Jones is where he wants to be but Jones is better at it. Jones is in better shape, he's more creative as opposed to Rashad's one dimensional style, Jones is actually HUMBLE and he has also betten more legit and relevant fighters. Basically he's everything Rashad wishes he can be.
myklhoey- March 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm
i neva thot id say this but a interveiw that evans did kinda won me ova,
but even if it didnt, i wood be hopin that this dude recks jones,
i give it to jones he was good on saterday, im not sayin im rite but sho-gun was comin off sergury and ussalyy wen he does he is gased easy and sluish like wen he fot colman,
maybe a healthy sho-gun wood hav shown up, but hay jones is the champ he deff erned it, i just anit a fan, i cant get past his words
slummy- March 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm
Who has Rashad defeated Dagnut? 3 of the fighters you mentioned were UFC LHW champs. The UFC doesn't have many options at this point but even if they did, Rashad should get it. People just love to hate on him.
superflat- March 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm
I could see Machida giving Jones trouble, potentially. He's one of the few LHWs who really knows the judo game, is a sharp counterpuncher (whereas Jones can be a sloppy striker), and is a big guy. Nobody has an easy fight against Jones, of course, but that's who I'd like to see fight him.
jimbonics- March 21, 2011 at 1:06 pm
Fag on Fag Crime. Rashart is all butthurt and fuck Jon Jones. I was working at a god damned car wash when I was 23.
LOKI- March 21, 2011 at 12:24 pm
@Morningwood-Who had Jones beaten to deserve a title shot?! Who had Shogun beaten?
mtnthc- March 21, 2011 at 11:57 am
GayShad’s Place, "Home of the ground and pound"

(not that there is anything wrong with that)
cecils_pupils- March 21, 2011 at 11:48 am
Rashad should open-up his own gym and call it GayShad's Place.