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Rashad Evans Calls Jon Jones ‘Judas’, Jardine Stays Loyal to Sugar

(Well sure, if you need advice on how to beat up an overhyped light-heavyweight, Antonio Silva‘s definitely your man. Kidding! Only kidding! / Props: via MiddleEasy)

Don’t know about y’all, but I already miss the days when the Rashad Evans/Jon Jones situation was merely awkward, and not openly hostile. The gloves finally came off yesterday when Evans gave an interview to BloodyElbow in which he told everyone what he really thinks about the new UFC light-heavyweight champion, and reveals that he never wanted to train with Jones in the first place. Some highlights…

On Jones’s change of heart before the Shogun fight: “I mean it’s one thing to say something in an interview but the least you could have picked up the phone and been like, ‘man I did an interview today and they kind of put me on the spot with a rough question and I answered it this way.’ At least give me the heads up so that way I know and not look at it if he’s Judas or something. You know who Judas is? That interview was some backstabbing s**t but now it’s like whatever because now I know the game he is playing. Then for Greg to sit back and say he doesn’t want to have anything to do with it….why not? You f**kin’ created the situation. Be his coach and be in his corner. That’s what you want so do it. I don’t care if he coaches against me. It doesn’t even matter.”

[Ed. note: Yeah, I think a guy with a New Testament scripture inked on his chest is pretty familiar with Judas. In all of the verbal-trash that will be slung around in the lead-up to this fight, this is probably the line that will stick with — and motivate — Jones the most.]

On Greg Jackson: “You can’t say you are not going to have anything to do with it when you are a big part of the reason why the situation originated. That’s like spilling a glass of milk and then walking away and saying that you don’t want to have anything to do with it. You f**kin’ spilled the milk…so you’re at least going to help clean it up right? When Jon Jones came to the gym over a year ago Greg Jackson came to me and said, ‘listen, what do you feel about having this kid on the team?’ I told him straight up that I didn’t like it. I told him that the kid was talented and that the sky was the limit with him but that was the type of guy I wanted to fight not train with.

Greg came back saying, ‘No, no, no this will be just like you and Keith where he will be just like a brother.’ I still told him that I didn’t want to do that. Then Greg said if that situation ever did arise between Jones and I that he would have to turn the fight down because that’s how it works. He would have to turn down the fight with me so that way I wouldn’t be put in a position where I looked like a punk. That’s how it works in the Greg Jackson system. After a while Greg was so high on this kid coming in and I met Jon Jones and he was a very nice and very sweet kid, so eventually I said f**k it, let’ s bring him in. After he got there and I trained with him and tried him out a little bit, something didn’t feel right so I moved my camp up to Denver to train at Grudge for awhile. That is where I spent the majority of my time over the past two fights.’

On his former relationship with Jones: “I feel disrespected by Jon because when I think about when we trained or when we were chilling, was the s**t even real? Or was he just trying to be a master manipulator and try to manipulate the situation so he could get what he wanted out of it? I don’t know and that is a question that I have in my mind but when I get down to it.”

On the cold realities of the sport: “There is no end all be all in this game of mixed martial arts. It’s a bag of mixed nuts. People are touting Jon around like he’s Neo from the Matrix. That’s all good and dandy but be there for the kid when the kid falls. Be there to pick him back up rather than turn their back on him like they did to Machida. Lyoto loses and all of a sudden he sucks. No he doesn’t f**kn suck it’s just the way the game goes. Nobody is supreme in this game and that is what makes mixed martial arts what it is today. Nobody is the absolute best. Anybody can get beat by anybody on any given day.”

There’s lots more gems from the Rashad interview — including his declaration that he’ll never be part of a “team” ever again — so check it out if you’re interested.

One fighter who will be remaining loyal to Evans in the aftermath of the messy Jones/Evans/Jackson divorce is former UFC light-heavyweight contender Keith Jardine, who has trained with Rashad since their shared stint on the second season of The Ultimate Fighter. As he told, ”[N]o question I would be supporting Rashad. He’s one of my closest friends in the world. I have a lot of loyalty and friendship with him.” Jardine also gave his thoughts about Evans’s importance to the Jackson Camp Mythology, and the currently fractured state of the team:

One thing to remember is Rashad is instrumental in this whole Jackson phenomenon starting. Without Rashad, who knows if it ever would have happened? He was one of the first guys to come in from out of town and join the team. And he was a guy who, when the sport was growing, he was winning fights and everybody was looking at him as he was getting better. People were calling Rashad up and he was bringing people to town, and without him, who knows if any of that would have ever happened? Without Rashad Evans, maybe this Jackson’s phenomena never happens…

It’ll never be the same, you know? This gym, when the UFC broke out in 2005, was built on me, Rashad, Nate Marquardt, Joey Villasenor and Diego Sanchez. Nate’s going to stay in Denver most of the time now. That’s sort of like the old generation, and they’re welcoming the future with Jon Jones, and that’s kind of where it is right now. For me, there’s no hard feelings; it’s just business…

It all started from that interview that Jon did, talking about the possibility of fighting with Rashad. That’s just something that doesn’t need to be said. Of course they could have been made to fight, and they both knew it. But for Jon to go out and say that made Rashad look like a punk, and that’s kind of what happened to start it all. It was already sensitive, so it blew up after that…Jon’s just a kid. He doesn’t really think through a lot of things of what he says. And I’m sure he probably regretted it right afterwards and all that, so I don’t think he had malicious intent in doing it.”

Cagepotato Comments

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noizy- March 23, 2011 at 10:52 pm
I know a lot of people dislike Rashad, but I gained some respect for him for blowing the lid on this situation and being honest.
Waxedpants- March 23, 2011 at 3:25 pm
The only aspect of this story which actually makes me believe that this is not a contrived scenario is Greg Jackson's interviews.

Maybe I am wrong but until I get more info I am going with the " Rashad has his panties in a bunch" explanation.
RwilsonR- March 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm
Rashad should show up to the weigh-ins with 30 pieces of silver.
RaginAsian- March 23, 2011 at 2:33 pm
I bet Rashad's real upset with Chris Brown right now. A young kid folds to the pressure of hundreds of adults bombarding him with the same question over and over again? How dare he.
philoebeddoe- March 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm
Rashad and Jones - hyping the fight. Rashad knows hoe to hype a fight. period. That's all this is.
I like both guys but one does it like Rashad when it comes to getting under people's skin. Maybe Tito.
macreadysshack- March 23, 2011 at 1:30 pm
I don't get it. We're not talking about a 'deathmatch' here. We're talking about a sporting competition. Wrestlers wrestle friends. Thaiboxers fight friends. Boxers - same. I think these guys are looking at the sport all wrong. Maybe they need that 'hatred' type motivation. I tell you what, any of my friends who want to fight MMA rules when there's a bit of cash out there for both of us, we're gonna knuckle up and shake hands afterwards. It's not like they are going to KILL or maim each other.
Bootylam- March 23, 2011 at 1:05 pm
Rashad cries and bitches more than Lebron getting phantom fouled every time he takes it to the hoop. Pretty fuckin bad. Also, supposedly Jebus CHOSE Judass, so what's Shad really trying to say?
fxdfp- March 23, 2011 at 12:50 pm
Jones betrayed Rashad, Judas betrayed Jesus...let's do the math:

Jones = Judas, Rashad = Jesus

Rashad is the new black Jesus. Math proves it once again.
MrPresident- March 23, 2011 at 11:43 am
Rashad should be happy that Bones said anything. What if he hadnt? What if he refused to fight him? Where does that leave Rashad, taking fights at LHW without any opportunity of getting a title shot until Bones loses to someone? Why would you want to wait for that? Would Rashad have moved to HW or down to MW?

Bones has the potential to be the next Anderson Silva. Im not saying he is as good, but has to the potential to be as good. What happens when Bones is 12 title defenses down the line? Does Rashad fight him then? Enough crying, get in the gym and make the best of this opportunity, though I dont see him being successful. You look more like a bitch for saying he and GJ hurt your feelings than you would if you just refused to fight him.
Hesh to Steel- March 23, 2011 at 11:10 am
Greg Jackson comes off looking the worst here, I think. The whole "don't fight anyone else who trains here" thing is HIS rule. I presume that it's to foster a sense of loyalty amongst his fighters, to each other AND the camp as a whole. You don't tout that kind of philosophy and then ditch one of the guys who was instrumental to putting your gym on the map in the first place. I'm not saying running a gym like a business is inherently better or worse than running it like a "brotherhood" or whatever, but just be consistent. If you're going to have an environment where you try to instill values in people, then conduct yourself that way all the time.
BalkanToni- March 23, 2011 at 10:43 am
What is it with everybody telling Rashad to shut up? I like some drama with my fights!
RwilsonR- March 23, 2011 at 10:23 am
Jones should have just said that Rashad was his brother, like family to him, so he could never fight him and give Rashad a chance at the belt again. In fact, the brotherly thing for Rashad to do would be to change weight classes and get out of his division altogether. That would have been the nice thing to do.
RwilsonR- March 23, 2011 at 10:16 am
The best part is that Rashad's analogy confirms that this situation is just him crying over spilled milk.
intercept440- March 23, 2011 at 10:16 am
it would be more shocking if rashad even survives
ClubberLame- March 23, 2011 at 9:59 am
Shut up and fight. You two are professional fighters. Be happy you are getting a title shot, Rashad. Make the most of it, try to shock the world by beating this young phenom. And would be shocking if Rashad wins.
thebolt- March 23, 2011 at 9:52 am
Sounds like your typical "lets create some hype for this" pre-fight talk. Rashad always has to be the bad guy and Jones is UFC's new golden boy. Don't worry, they'll make out once the fights done.
Lesnars_tiny_pecker_says- March 23, 2011 at 9:32 am
I meant "Point two"
I am such an idiot, I should stop trying to sound like I know anything.
Lesnars_tiny_pecker_says- March 23, 2011 at 9:30 am
look, I like both of these guys. Suga was a great coach on tuf and is everything that jones is basically. Both are guys with a shitload of skills and both can be cocky as hell. Two points I wanna make are, Right Rashad what happens if this kid gets built up and then crashes? who will pick him up. Point to is, Wrong Rashad, some people can dominate this sport and stay on top for a long while. Look at the guy I love to hate, Anderson Silva. Is Jones the second coming of Silva? Who knows, But he and Evans will make a good fight me thinks
OK haters start tearing me to bits over this
Dagnut- March 23, 2011 at 8:57 am
Top ranked guys shouldn't be training with each other, that much is clear to anyone.It's the thing that's annoys me most about MMA, it's so bitchy..everyone loves trash talking but all the nonsense and twitter's tiring.
Rashad is complaining about looking like a punk..if he kept his mouth shut and showed some dignity he would have that problem
King_KP- March 23, 2011 at 8:57 am
I`ve got an idea. How about not agreeing to avoid fighting your teammates when your camp is home to the top competition in the division. Quite frankly, this ideal is putting a hinderance on the development of the sport, and many mma fans (and your f!%?ing boss) have openly spoken out against it. Honestly, we don`t care if you train with eachother 9 months out of the year, stop f&*$ing around with the development of our sport for your own personal gain.
Aside from that, by definition, Rashad is the challenger in this fight and therefor should be the crybaby to refuse the fight not the other way around. To imply that it had anything to do with Jones`decision making is flawed, because that would suggest Jones should have refused any and all fights which allowed him to develop his profile and move up in the sport. He is the champ, what did you expect? for him to throw the title fight or some bullshit.
With regards to taking him on the team. Maybe you should create your own fight camp because apparently you are the main reason anyone came to train at 205 with Jackson. I hear all the crybaby prima donna fighters have camps that revolve around them, hell, even some have their own promotions. Looks like a golden opportunity for your ego you freaking idiot.
I never liked you Rashad, but quite frankly, it's just too easy now.
Horror Fighter- March 23, 2011 at 8:54 am
Only thing missing is Jones superkicking Rashad through a window.
Morningwood- March 23, 2011 at 8:39 am
whoop Get me off just beat jiveturkey for comment of the post!
Onan- March 23, 2011 at 8:38 am
Wow, who knew that MMA fighter could be so sensitive? Sounds like these guys join Greg Jackson not to become the best fighter they can be but to hang out and train with their bros. Where is the professionalism? Where is the motivation to do what is needed to take care of your family and not some contrived group of "brothers"? Imagine being offered the chance to apply for a better paying position but you don't take it because your "office bro" wants the job as well...please!

The only thing Rashad said that made any sense is that everyone who is pumping up Jones needs to be there when the kid falls. He's going to get beat. Everyone gets beat. If Jon Jones holds the belt for 2 years or 2 months is irrelevant to me. I'm just enjoying watching someone who is extremely proficient at his job perform under pressure.
Morningwood- March 23, 2011 at 8:37 am
@Jiveturkey - comment of the post so far!
Get Off Me- March 23, 2011 at 8:36 am
@El Famous Burrito
Like when Farrooq called Ahmed Johnson an Uncle Tom for leaving the nation of domination? Subsequently leading to one of the best all time lines in WWF history:

"Ahmed Johnson you couldn't be white if they sand blasted your ass twenty times"