(Video courtesy of YouTube/UFC)
It only took UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones around 10 minutes yesterday to fire his first shot at number one contender and former teammate Rashad Evans at the pre-UFC 145 press conference in Atlanta.
Responding to a question about how he seemed confident that he would beat Evans after watching “Suga’s” performance against Phil Davis in the main event of last month’s UFC on Fox: Evans vs. Davis event, “Bones” said that he doesn’t feel that Rashad has really improved since he left Team Jackson to join The Blackzilians.
“I expected a lot in the fight. There was this whole Rashad 2.0 thing that was getting started and his first fight in a new camp. His body looked better and you saw some differences in his game. In [the Davis fight] I just didn’t see any progressions, whatsoever,” Jones explained, much to the delight of reporters looking for a juicy soundbite. “I’m honest. I’m really honest. It inspired me. It made me happy about what I saw. I said, ‘Wow, if that athlete shows up on April 21 it’s going to be an interesting night.’ It’s like your competitor reporter and he’s not doing his job well, it’s just like, ‘Oh, this is gonna be great.’ I’m excited.”
Evans took umbrage with Jones’ statement and claimed that the young champ might be hiding his true feelings about fighting his old training partner.
“I don’t know. I seen something different. I read body language a little bit. I studied psychology, and if you see Jon, the way he’ll swivel in that chair, he couldn’t keep still. He kept… It was like he was Stevie Wonder for a minute. He couldn’t keep still. He can say what he want to, but he already know what time it was. He knows it’s not going to be an easy fight,” Evans said. “He knows it’s going to be the hardest fight of his career. He knows that coming into this fight because he competed against me before. He already felt what I have, so he can say what he wants to about how I compete against somebody else, but he already know what time it is when we go together.”
With no love lost between these two, it should make for an interesting fight on April 21.