sloths funny photos album covers
Iconic Album Covers Replaced With Sloths

Jon Jones Was Willing to Fake an Injury a Year Ago to Avoid Fighting ‘His Brother’ Rashad Evans


(Video courtesy of YouTube/MMAScrapsRadio)

What a difference a year makes.

Less than 365 days ago, newly-crowned UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones appeared on MMAScraps Radio and told ¬†Pat Barry, who was then the co-host of the show, that there was no way, no how he would ever fight a teammate, especially not “his brother Rashad Evans.”

Jones’ change of heart has caused a rift in Albuquerque which caused Evans to move his camp from Team Jackson to Imperial Athletics in Boca Raton Florida, where he will train with displaced former members of American Top Team who have set up shop there including Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante, Jorge Santiago and the Villefort brothers.

In the interview, Jones backed Evans recent revelation that he had to agree to never fight any of his Jackson teammates as a condition of joining the revered fight team — a clause he later publicly reneged on prompting the former champ to accept the offer to face his heir apparent and former training partner. Interestingly, even when Barry tried at length to convince Jones that fighting a teammate wasn’t a big deal, “Bones” didn’t waver in his stance that it simply wouldn’t happen. He even went so far as to say that if pressed by the UFC to fight Evans or Keith Jardine, he would find a way out of the bout even if it meant faking an injury.

Here’s the complete transcript of the interview:

Pat Barry: There’s been this thing going on with fighters lately — over the past few months, but especially lately. Dana White has finally come out and made a stand on it, but how do you feel about guys fighting their teammates, are you for it or are you against it?

Jon Jones: I’m against it, the only reason being is I’m a Jackson fighter. Before I got accepted to Greg Jackson’s team, Greg had a meeting with Rashad Evans and he had a meeting with Keith Jardine about whether or not they wanted to accept me as part of the team because they were there first and they had their established trainers and everything. They decided to accept me and they opened me up to the best training camp in the world — trainers, coaches, nutritionists — all that stuff that they had I now have. So I could never fight them. It would be like fighting one of my brothers, so…

Barry: So you would never, ever fight Rashad Evans?

Jones: Ummm…I would never ever fight Rashad Evans. Yes. Correct.

Co-host: Wait a minute.¬†Hold on , Jon. I heard a ‘um’ for a second. What is that all about?

Barry: He thought about it.

Jones: Umm…I mean if the MONEY was right…(laughing).

Co-host: There we go! There it is!

Jones: (laughing) No.

Barry: What about for like a million dollars? What if I offered you a million dollars tonight?

Jones: I mean, I guess I would for a million dollars.

Barry: Would you fight Rashad Evans for 10 million dollars tomorrow?

Jones: (laughing) Tonight we’ll go at the gym. That’d be great. But, uh…We spar together every day, so I mean, for a million dollars I guess I could put the four-ounces on.

Co-host: I guess so. What about for a title? Less money, but more prestige?

Jones: No, not for a title. You know…

Barry: If he was number one and you were number two, you wouldn’t fight Rashad Evans to be the best in the world?

Jones: My goal would be to be the toughest contender that ever lived, regardless of the belt. I’m one of those guys. That’s all I got.

Co-host: That’s alright, Jon. You don’t have to apologize. We’re just trying to figure it out, man. It’s different for every person. You gotta understand that Pat comes from a K-1 background where that sort of thing doesn’t exist because in K-1 you almost have to fight one of your teammates. There’s so many fights, that’s the way it is.

Barry: I’ve fought my teammates, I’ve fought my friends, I mean that’s just where I’m comin’ from. I always said that the closer you get to the top of the mountain, the fewer the guys and the smaller the competition is because there’s only a few people who are stand-out elites. Some of us happen to be friends, some of us happen to be teammates and a lot of us are the same size and the same weight class, so eventually you’re gonna have to run across somebody you know or somebody you’re close with. You know what I mean? Eventually. I know a lot of people who are for it, Jon and a lot of people who are against it. I personally have no problem fighting a teammate only because I’ve always strived to be the best in the world.

Jones: Yeah.

Barry: Like I said, I’ve never met a fighter who looked forward to being third place. I’ve never met a prizefighter whose whole goal in life was to be the guy who never made it, who only was second best…

Jones: Right.

Barry:…and if your teammate happens to be the best in the world and you want that more than anything in the world, you’ve got to be willing to do anything and everything. I don’t think anybody’s crazy for not wanting to do it, it’s just my opinion. I don’t think it’s a problem fighting teammates.

Jones: Aw, you’re grinding me, man. That’s grinding me (laughing).

Co-host: No..no..no…listen. We’re not comin’ down on you.

Jones: I think that friendship is way more valuable than the money, you know?

Barry: But…but…but…what I’m saying — and this is the point I was making earlier — there are a lot of guys who say they don’t want to fight their friends because they don’t want to ruin their friendship. My thing is that your friendship can’t be that stable if something like this is going to ruin it.

Jones: Good point.

Barry: Your friendship has…something has to be wrong. Your friendship cannot be that stable or that solid if having a fight and one of you losing is going to possibly end your friendship. Something’s already wrong there. We’re all friends, we all depend on each other to make a living, we all depend on each other to get better and we all depend on each other to compete against. You need me and I need you. We all need each other like this is the circle that we’re in.

Jones: Yeah.

Barry: Like once we sign that contract, we have unconsciously agreed to fight damn near anybody. I mean, what if eventually there’s nobody left out of the guys in your weight class? Are you gonna gain weight, or are you gonna quit or are you gonna say, the hell with it, I’m never fighting for a title?

Co-host: More specifically, and this is the last question on this because Jon, I don’t wanna push you into a corner and we only got a couple minutes left with you, anyway. More specifically, Dana has said that this is gonna happen, so what’s gonna happen when Dana makes that call and says, ‘Listen. If you wanna stay in the UFC, you’ve gotta fight Keith Jardine or whoever.’ I mean, what happens then?

Jones: Ummm…I just think there’s lots of ways around it. You know, you could fake injuries. You could do anything. I mean, there’s just so many ways around it, you know? But before I joined the team that was the first conversation we had. It was just about friendship. Greg Jackson’s team is known for their brotherhood…our brotherhood. We treat each other with so much respect and love and genuine care. We have all of these great fighters in our camp who try their best to fight exactly like Brandon Vera for me when I’m getting ready for that fight. I’ve got guys giving me coaching advice after practice –guys who are UFC vets. There’s just no egos. These guys have opened my eyes on how to train like a pro athlete. It would be so wrong of me to use all that I’ve gained from them against them. It just won’t happen.

Cagepotato Comments

Showing 1-25 of comments

comments
Sort by : Show hidden comments
RaginAsian- March 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm
The entire interview hinges on Bones being number two and having to fight Rashad to be number one. But of course, it's Bones who's number one now and Rashad who isn't content being number two or willing to try to cut to 185.

I mean, if Rashad was expecting Bones to turn down the biggest fight of his career because of his seniority within Camp Jackson, he can go find a quiet room, turn down the lights, light some candles and fuck himself.
The Mad Montrealer- March 22, 2011 at 2:40 pm
I don't get why people are coming down on Jon Jones. He fought Shogun for the title and won, Rashad is challenging him for the belt, Jones accepted the match knowing full well that Rashad had been talking about moving to another team if the opportunity arose. I don't see any problem with this scenario. Jones didn't ask for a fight with Rashad, Rashad chose his desire for the championship over his friendship and has done what's necessary to do so, and he's right to do it.
intercept440- March 22, 2011 at 12:55 pm
lets put it to rest right now, if your the champ, you fight whoever the fuck dana puts in front of you Period.
Fuck greg Jackson , and his faggoty ass rule. this sport is about money and winning a title (or as charlie sheen would say DUH WINNING!) its not about your fucking team mates, this isnt football, jones not fighting rashad or vice versa = one way ticket to unemployment, that fuckhead jackson should see that
RwilsonR- March 22, 2011 at 11:57 am
I fully agree with danomite's point, and have made it elsewhere. If you are the champ, you are holding up your friend's career by not agreeing to fight them. I think Rashad's idea all along was that he would have title shots before Jones, and he would use this friendship excuse so he didn't have to get destroyed by someone he knows is a much better fighter. When the tables turned, Rashad's bitchassness came out, since he knows he will never hold a title again.
Stak40- March 22, 2011 at 11:44 am
I dont see why people keep saying Evans is a bitch or a pussy. They both made a pack to not fight each other, they both said it mulitiple times to the media and now they both are having to eat their words. Its a shitty situation if they truly are friends, and being how shit went down, obviously Evans is in the shittiest of the two spots. You throw in Jackson loyalty and the media and this shit got uncomfortable for all parties involved. First yall talk about how he is an asshole because he is cocky and blah blah blah and now that the dude is showing some genuine emotion he is a pussy. What i will say is that i refuse to believe they all didnt see this shit coming and that it shouldnt have been such a shocker and that Evans made some stupid decisions that lead him to where he is at. I hope he loses all this "suga" shit and just gets back to just fighting.
myklhoey- March 22, 2011 at 10:30 am
you know i believe that shit, i think a year ago he was willin to do that,
but lets see, a year ago evans was the champ, jacksons # 1 man, i mean wats he gunna say, " o i'll fuck this nigga up if given the chance"
no, now fast foward to 9 months 7 months ago, wit the hype train, this dude has more shit flowin out of his mouth than a semtic drain,
hes into the bible, the bible says in timothy not to let a young convert hold athority lest it goes to his head.
thats what happined to this cat, hes a great fighta, and i think will be around for a long time, but i cant get past hid pride and arrogance.
talk shit fine, koshchek, hardy, bisbing, daiz, and many others do, but this fool makes staments that the devil wood be like " man he needs some humilty"
i cant wait till this fuck gets ko'ed, and possibly get humbled in heart and come back betta but wit a more down to earth additude
danomite- March 22, 2011 at 10:20 am
I'm gonna say this again: Jones is the champ. To NOT fight Evans in this situation would be the dick move. Evans is just being a big pussy. It's either fight Jones or Fitch around in the LHW division for prime of your career.
LOKI- March 22, 2011 at 10:14 am
UFC 133:Dolla, Dolla Billz Ya'll!
J. Spaceman- March 22, 2011 at 10:10 am
I'm with @EFB. You could become the "bad boy of MMA media". Then all you have to do is shave your head and lose a few MMA fights and Arianny will be begging to get you back.
PortugueseBreakfast- March 22, 2011 at 10:08 am
if you were a 23 year old about to acheive greatness would u turn it down? thought so..
El Famous Burrito- March 22, 2011 at 9:33 am
You know, if our last-ditch Twitter campaign doesn't work, you gus might as well go all out supervillain on Dana and the UFC.

Dig up old dirt, follow "injured" fighters with cameras and catch them playing soccer in their backyard, turn the tables on that bald phony.
Morningwood- March 22, 2011 at 9:23 am
I think Jones would say anything to get into Jackson's camp. He thinks they're the best team and that's where he wanted to be.
Rashad feels betrayed, hurt and all that. But, there's nothing he can do, he's not the man there any more. Now he has his chance to show Jackson that he should have kept him around and sent Jones packing. It's just like when a NFL/NHL/MLB player gets traded. they look forward to showing the last team they made a mistake. Sorry Rashad, but I don't see you making Jackson regretting sending you packing. My guess is the team is probably closer not having to listen to your whining any more.
knucklesamitch- March 22, 2011 at 9:20 am
goddamn no edit button, "there" should be "this"
knucklesamitch- March 22, 2011 at 9:19 am
first the Arianny pics, now there...Cancel the twitter and FB campaigns, you guys are screwed!
Fried Taco- March 22, 2011 at 9:17 am
Now you done ruined it CP, JJ was going to pull out of the fight at the last minute with a groin injury. But no one will believe him after seeing this article.
Dagnut- March 22, 2011 at 9:17 am
Team Jackson fighter in U turn shocker!!!!
knucklesamitch- March 22, 2011 at 9:16 am
Jon Jones said what he was supposed to say at the time. You better believe this fight would be happening no matter what. if Rashad hadn't backed out of the fight with Shogun and became champ, and then Dana offered Jones the first shot at new Champ Rashad, he would have taken it, even if it meant he had to leave Greg Jackson's.

No way around it, with Jones as champ, or Evans as champ, this fight was going to happen.
NOTSOB- March 22, 2011 at 9:16 am
isnt this a year ago news?
Sudos KFC- March 22, 2011 at 9:10 am
Team Jackson sounds more like a circle jerk then a fight camp sometimes. They live in a glass cage of emotion.
CagePotatoMMA