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Rashad Evans Continues His Anti-Jackson Campaign Heading Into UFC 145

(Alright, Rashad, you know what to do. As soon as he offers to shake your hand, pull away at the last second and then just stroll past him like a boss.) 

The war of words between former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans and current champ Jon Jones has been brewing for what feels like forever, so much so that anyone within arms reach of either man has come under fire in the past few weeks. And at the epicenter of these disputes is none other than Evans’ former coach and Jones’ current one, Greg Jackson. Yes, ever since Rashad left Team Jackson for the greener pastures of Blackzilia, he has been rather candid when discussing what he believes was a betrayal on Jackson’s part.

When we last caught up with these two, Jones attempted to explain his side of the story, basically saying that Jackson has tried on numerous occasions to reconcile with Evans, who has instead opted to bash “the program and the history” of Team Jackson. A history that Evans himself helped build, nonetheless. “Suga,” on the other hand, felt that Jackson simply traded in his Cutlass Classic for a brand new Buick Lacrosse, so to speak. And in a recent interview with MMAWeekly, Evans expanded upon this notion, choosing to use Greg Jackson’s name as much as humanly possible:

Like I told Greg at the time, I told Greg I don’t think it would be a good idea, but Greg did what Greg wanted to do for Greg. That’s why Greg brought him on because Greg wanted to do what he wanted to do for Greg.

That’s the thing about him. Greg talks about ‘for the team, for the team.’ The team consists of ‘I’ which is Greg Jackson. That’s what the team consists of, it’s about Greg Jackson getting the ‘Coach of the Year’ awards. That’s what it consists of.

Though we all know that Greg has always been a man of the people, this seems like an unnecessarily brutal criticism by Evans, does it not?

Since leaving Team Jackson, Evans has gone into Josh Koscheck mode when questioned on anything semi-related to his former camp, and it’s beginning to come off as bitter more than anything else at this point. Considering that ninety percent of Evans’ success as a fighter came during his time at Team Jackson, his sudden willingness to discredit the same camp that propelled him to a championship seems both counter intuitive to his own success and honestly, rather shallow.

The question you have to ask yourself is this: Did Greg Jackson really do anything wrong by taking Jones under his wing? It’s understandable that Evans would expect a little loyalty, or perhaps preference, over Jones, being that they are in the same weight class, but who is Evans to tell Jackson who he can and cannot train with? From a business standpoint, it simply doesn’t make sense to limit one’s abilities as a coach to a select group of people, especially in an ever-growing sport such as MMA. There’s no reason to believe that these two could not be members of the same gym, even if they would eventually run into one another down the line. Not every team has to be run like AKA, where members of each camp flat out refuse to fight each other. Dana White has even said that teammates should be willing to fight each other simply because it’s what they are paid to do. It doesn’t mean they can’t be friends, it just means that they are both willing to do anything to become the best at what they do. The fact of the matter is, MMA is not a team sport, so to expect complete undying loyalty from one’s team is a bit of a bloated notion. This is why you don’t start a business with friends.

And what Evans doesn’t seem to realize is that, yes, by taking on a phenom like Jon Jones, Greg Jackson was protecting his best interests. As a coach, as a businessman, and as a professional, he saw a talent and wanted to help shape it. For Evans to say otherwise would simply reverse the scenario, in turn choosing to protect his own interests over that of his coach. Evans even went as far as to say that he would never bring someone into his camp with a chance of being a contender after the whole Team Jackson debacle:

I wouldn’t do that; I wouldn’t put myself in the position again. I wouldn’t bring myself with somebody that I knew would be a contender.

Well, all we can say to that kind of mentality is good luck, Mr. Evans. Because, as we all know, the quickest way to elevate your game is to train with people that you are leagues ahead of in terms of skill set and accomplishments. We hope that no one in “Suga’s” team actually becomes a decent fighter, because that will be the quickest way to earn one’s walking papers, it seems.

-J. Jones

Cagepotato Comments

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ghjgjfgghj- April 18, 2012 at 7:12 am
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UFCFightBlogger- April 17, 2012 at 10:51 pm
Its sad that Evans had to leave the gym that he helped make famous but things change. It looks like he has made a great home and gym for himself in Florida from what I saw on UFC Primetime. Evans seems to be ready for Jones, cant wait for the fight on Saturday.

Check out this video about Evans
RaginAsian- April 16, 2012 at 10:20 pm
Rashad's just lonely. Dude went from being the Greg's champ training with some of the best fighters in the world to a divorcee surrounded by one-dimensional retards. It's sad. Hopefully once he's forced to swallow his pride, he won't have burned too many bridges to go back. He really just needs a hug.
bitteralex- April 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm
i'm a huge fan of greg jackson.. and i remember an interview he did many years ago where he said that he could have brought many high level guys into his camp, even some champions, but he didn't because they wouldn't fit into their "family"... those fighters didn't understand that the guys at jackson mma were brothers...
it seems that times have changed at jackson mma... I even remember a story about when greg jackson began training fighters in mma... he didn't accept any payment because all he wanted to do was make them better...
I feel bad for rashad and greg jackson... it was a situation that was handled poorly... Greg seems like a very smart, honest guy and is a great trainer.. and rashad is one of the original jackson guys... I can see where he does feel betrayed and bitter, although I do think he overreacted a bit towards Jackson (he did raise a good point about jones/himself and condit/gsp)
Jones is the real bitch here imo.. he seems just fake
"You must truly love someone to truly betray them"
logdog52- April 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm
Amjur, well said.
Alan K- April 16, 2012 at 11:32 am
"Also, Greg."
Daddy_jeffy- April 16, 2012 at 11:24 am
Dear Amjur,
Herman Wouk said your post was waayyy too long.
Amjur- April 16, 2012 at 11:08 am
IMO, this all boils down to the issue of team mates fighting one another. We can argue all day long about whether they should or not, but in my observation (albeit limited) the understood 'default' rule is that team mates do not fight each other. The Jackson camp was no exception: team members did not fight one another. Rashad and Jardine did not fight despite being directed to by DW.
Was Rashad upset that a talented younger athlete had been brought on board? - Sure. But the main issue and cause for the break was that once said talented younger athlete obtained the belt, he openly entertained the notion of fighting Rashad; and Jackson apparently backed this position.
Granted Rashad is being bitter, but when he continues to reference the occasion where "I told Greg I didn't think it was a good idea," he is speaking of him voicing his concern that he and Jones might one day be in contention. A concern that Jackson apparently dismissed at the time as something that would never happen.
Of course, Jackson was well within his rights to bring new talent into the gym, but he could have handled the events that transpired thereafter better (something that Jackson himself admits).
Also: when Rashad states that he wouldn't bring in someone that he knew would be a contender, I suspect he is speaking in terms of someone who would be in contention with HIM not with the belt (again it boils down to the issues of team mates fighting one another).
SocraticMethod- April 16, 2012 at 10:58 am
Rashad screwed Rashad!
Paste- April 16, 2012 at 10:52 am
Never understood the Jones hate.
I have always liked him and never really cared for Shad. Sug got all upset when Jones said he would fight him after winning the belt... WHAT !?
Dude just became champ and said he would give you a shot, I hate when people say not only that they will do their job, but they are willing to give someone a shot at the success they have obtained.

Getting Mad at a coach for bringing in another 205er who had a shot at the belt? Guess no more than 10 guys per gym huh? Don't you dare bring in someone better than me...

Glad strip clubs don't work like that.
Get Off Me- April 16, 2012 at 10:44 am
Jackson fucked up by not having the forsight to see this debacle coming from the minute Jones started training with the team. Rashad is pissed just like any other athlete who has his spot taken by a talented younger athlete. I do not think Jackson is a great coach anyhow, I could corner Jones in a fight, GSP learned to become a champion in Montreal and the Guillards/Page's, Joe Daddy's, Kyle Noke's of the world have not improved under Jackson, the fighters who need to improve the most do not under Greg Jackson.
knucklesamitch- April 16, 2012 at 10:39 am
Man, fuck Rashad. I can't believe people actually like this go over Bones Jones. What a whiny little bitch. I can't wait for him to get smashed this weekend. I hope Jones smashes his face in like he did Brandon Vera.
The12ozCurls- April 16, 2012 at 10:13 am
Hell hath no fury like a "Suga" scorned
Fletch the V Stretch- April 16, 2012 at 10:33 am
Haha, this is true. What reporters should do is stop asking the same damn questions about Jackson.

Still hope he kills Jones though.
The12ozCurls- April 16, 2012 at 11:16 am
Racist - lol
The12ozCurls- April 16, 2012 at 11:21 am
I am really just hoping for a good fight at this point but I don't think it gets out of the 2nd. Either Jones with knock Suga's head into the 5th row with a spinning elbow, or Shad will GNP Jones into a bloody mess. Either way - I bet Jones doesn't come out with that crawling butt scoot manuevar in the first round. If he does, Suga isn't gonna look at him bewildered like Page and Lyoto did.
SocraticMethod- April 16, 2012 at 10:10 am
Even if bringing Jones into the camp wasn't the best thing for Rashad, it was clearly the best thing for the team as a whole. So Rashad's whining is not only annoying, it's short-sighted, self-serving and disingenuous. Rashad didn't care about the team either, he cared about himself, which is why he took the first opportunity to claim "betrayal" as an excuse to jump ship and challenge Jones.
ExpectJesusBro- April 16, 2012 at 10:00 am
Glad to hear the man who doesn't want to become "complacent" is using the worst possible way to advance his skill set. I hope Jones puts you down like the dawg you are. I hear Kimbo's boxing now, maybe Rashad could recruit him to help improve his ground game.