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Rashad Evans’ Trainer Thinks He Should Just Suck It Up and Fight Jon Jones

(C’mon, Trevor Wittman will fight you right now for 50 cents and a half-pack of smokes. Pic: Sherdog)

Trevor Wittman appears to be one of the happiest guys in mixed martial arts. Seriously, if you’ve never noticed Wittman leaning over the top of the cage grinning like a deranged toddler during the introductions to any bout involving one of his fighters, check it out next time. That smile is all you need to see to know that the head coach at Colorado’s Grudge Training Center genuinely loves all facets of the fight game. It also makes us think that if a guy with as sunny a disposition as Wittman is willing to say publicly that one of his fighters (Rashad Evans) should sack up and fight another guy who is (sort of) one of his fighters (Jon Jones” target=”_blank”>Jon Jones), that’s pretty significant.

Wittman said just that – well, without the “sack up” part – to Sherdog.com this week. Apparently unlike his New Mexico counterpart Greg Jackson, Wittman thinks it makes way more sense for Evans to set aside his supposed friendship with Jones and fight the young phenom (if Jones wrests the title away from Mauricio “Shogun” Rua later this month) instead of totally sidetracking his career by moving to middleweight or heavyweight.

“I had the conversation with Rashad that I felt Rashad should fight Jon Jones if he wins,” Wittman says. “This is my key point with it — if Rashad steps back and says, ‘I ain’t going to fight Jon Jones,’ he’s putting his family on the line. He’s putting his career on the line. Dana White already doesn’t like him. I don’t want to say Dana White doesn’t like him but doesn’t like the decisions he’s made, so he’s going to smear that all over the Internet. It’s going to be horrible for Rashad’s career.”

We gotta say, we agree with Wittman here. To us, it seems like two professional fighters should be able to put their personal lives on the back burner long enough to fight in a cage for money and/or gold and still be friends afterward. One thing we don’t really agree with Witmann about, though: He seems to think Jones never should have accepted the fight with Rua, out of deference to Rashad.

“I feel Jon Jones could have been like, ‘Hey man, I’ll tell you what. I’m going to take another fight,’ ” Wittman says. “And let Rashad — he’s not at the beginning of his career, he’s at the peak and the tail end of it. Let him go fight for it.”

Yeah, we can’t see Jones doing that and frankly, we can’t blame him for stepping up and wanting to fight for the belt. It does raise one valid question however: Did it really look like Jonny Bones was thinking about his great friend Rashad when he fell to his knees in the Octagon at UFC 126 and shouted, “God is so good!” before accepting a title fight with Rua? No?

Well, maybe that’s something to think about, Rashad. Think long and hard about that.

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Rikdy9- March 15, 2011 at 12:39 am
I predicted that Rashad would try to send in his boyfriend to fight Shogun and I was correct! Only this time his new boyfriend is Jon Jones (not Keith Jardine) because Jardine is no longer in the UFC. Jon Jones is fighting Shogun in place of Rashad (Rafraud) because Rashad the fraud is conveniently injured. Now Rashad claims that Jon Jones is his brother (a guy he has only known for one year). Rashad must have kissed Jones' butt real well to make Jones love Rashad back...Rashad doesn't want to ever fight Jon Jones because he knows that Jones would destroy him. If Rashad moved up to heavyweight then Cain Velasquez would become Rashad's LONG LOST BROTHER/BEST FRIEND. Rashad the fraud is an insecure loser! I'm not a Dana White fan, but even Dana is sick of Rashad's B.S.(and rightfully so). When Rashad had the LHW belt, Dana asked Rashad to fight Rampage, but Rashad refused and he said that he wanted to hold on to his belt for a while. Rashad told Dana White that HE WAS AFRAID THAT HE WOULD lose the belt to soon if he fought Rampage!!! RASHAD ADMITTED THIS TO DANA WHITE! So Rashad, got Keith Jardine to test the waters and fight Rampage first. Rashad is a calculating coward/punk!
Nintendong- March 4, 2011 at 5:59 am
The fact that the Brothers Overeem said they would fight each other for the sake of the Strikeforce Tournament, tells you all you need to know about fighter professionalism and the separation of business and personal life.
David_Banner- March 4, 2011 at 4:14 am
My real name is Greg Jackson. Come to my gym and I will teach you yoga.
skeletor- March 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm
@David_Banner
are you Rashad?
David_Banner- March 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm
morningwood, do you think Rashad is afraid of Keith Jardine too? He refused to fight Keith based on their friendship, a couple of times. Keith did the same thing.

Agentsmith, Jones has went on record before and said he wouldn't fight Rashad because they are close friends.


At the end of the day, these guys are grown men. If they don't want to fight they shouldnt be slandered by the media for not wanting too. I get that SOME homie fights might make for good fights but if you face off two best friends, that train with each other everyday, what you're going to have is two guys that are A. not going to fight their best out of fear of hurting one another or B. Two guys nulliyfing each others stregths for 3 to 5 rounds.
Waxedpants- March 3, 2011 at 6:05 pm
winner: cup cheik
skeletor- March 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm
Fuck Wittman! If he wants me or anyone else to value his opinion he will put it in the form of a poem.
agentsmith- March 3, 2011 at 1:58 pm
The bottom line is that even if Jones loses this title shot, he's not going anywhere. It'll probably just be a matter of time until he earns another. So Rashad's only real options are to drop to 185 or accept that he may have to fight Jones, cause waiting to see if he beats Shogun doesn't solve Rashad's problem.

I also notice that Jones doesn't talk like he won't fight Rashad, so this seems to be rather one-sided. Which makes me think it's more about fear than friendship.
Cup Cheick- March 3, 2011 at 1:47 pm
I mean Rashad is acting as if Jon Jones wouldn't give him the decency of a reach around after he gets elbow fucked.
myklhoey- March 3, 2011 at 1:20 pm
i am not a fan of evans but i dont think hes afriad of jones i dont think hes afraid of anyone, he didnt wanna fight jardean and he would have wooped him,
i renmba my buddy who was a youth pastor and he always told his teens about me, wen i went to st.louis to visit him his friends begged us to fight hearin his storys of me and knowin he was tuff, i got him in a gullitean choke and could have tapped him but i saw his youths face and i lossened the grip gave him a leg he fliped me down and got a armbar i tapped, no biggy, friends are wat they are,
but i do think evans has more loyalty then jones does and he should step up and fight him, id love to see bones humbled, the guy who says, "to me its all ready done", this dudes lookin past one of the top LHW's eva, wat a punk
fACE7biter- March 3, 2011 at 12:36 pm
You left out a part of what Whittman said that I read somewhere else. It was along the lines of, if people are going to look at MMA as a legit sport, then friends should be able to go against each other the way they would in any other sport. No ones asking eithier guy to injure the other one or end their careers, there are enough rules and regulations in place where that shouldn't happen. They'll bang each other up sure, but at the end of the day they shouldn't be that much worse for wear if this is a legit sport and not a bloodsport. Evans just can't do anything right, and he's just hurting himself with these poor decisions. Assuming Jones wins, I'd love to see Shad move down to middleweight and get his ass kicked by Sonnen.
knucklesamitch- March 3, 2011 at 12:35 pm
Just because you say, 'with all due respect', it doesn't mean you can say whatever you want.

It sure as hell does...IT'S IN THE GENEVA CONVENTION!!
RwilsonR- March 3, 2011 at 12:06 pm
From another Rashad Evans interview: "I feel that this [205] is my home. I don't want to switch weight classes and lose my mojo. With all due respect I don't want to be like Brandon Vera. Like I said with all due respect and it's nothing against Brandon Vera but I don't want to lose that mojo."
 
I say set up Brandon Vera vs. Rashad after this. Although, he did say 'with all due respect' twice, so I guess Vera should feel respected, not insulted.
RwilsonR- March 3, 2011 at 11:56 am
Trevor Wittman? I thought Josh Burkman just shaved his soul patch.
Stak40- March 3, 2011 at 11:51 am
Big bro never wants to lose to lil bro especially if big bro is still trying to solidify his name in history as one of the best.
RwilsonR- March 3, 2011 at 11:51 am
They aren't really teammates and friends. Jon Jones doesn't even tweak his nipples before fights. How close can they be? Rashad be scared!
ccman- March 3, 2011 at 11:47 am
1. the 'buddy' agreement is bullshit when in the same weight class.
2. Jones sure as hell did not care or even consider Shad when made the offer. And willing to bet that if he was told 'this is your fight, or get out" would punch Shad in front of his mother to keep the belt.
3. I sooo do not wan a jones champion. I stand by what i have said for 2 years on the man, he has a PR rep telling him what to do, and the second the cameras are off, or twitter pops up, we see the real prick for what he is.
NinjaNerd8- March 3, 2011 at 11:47 am
I agree they should fight but it's ridiculous for Wittman to expect Jones to turn down the title shot in the cage in front of everyone. Is he retarded or something...
portland mma- March 3, 2011 at 11:40 am
Whats he going to do if he finds himself in a shady Dominican fight promotion and they offer him Queef Sardine?
portland mma- March 3, 2011 at 11:39 am
@ Fried taco

That shit was hilarious.

Honestly I usually don't care if friends and training partners don't want to fight each other but Wittman has an incredible point about Rashad, this will fuck up his career. Plus like Dana said even if Rashad does well at HW whats he going to do when they offer him Carwin? What's he going to do if he goes to MW and they want him to fight Nate?
Morningwood- March 3, 2011 at 11:38 am
I've always thought one way to correct cocky behavior of employees is to let them find out what unemployment is like. Maybe Rashad is too comfortable in the UFC??
Morningwood- March 3, 2011 at 11:37 am
1. Jones doesn't feel the same way about Evans. Didn't think twice to take the shot "away" from Evans.

2. IMO Rashad is more afraid of Jones then he is friends with him. That's why he won't fight him.

I too have gone against a friend for the same job. I'm sure if part of the job interview was us getting to punch, kick, and choke the other. My friend would have quickly decided he wants to take his career in a different direction. Sounds a lot like what Rashad is doing.
cecils_pupils- March 3, 2011 at 11:36 am
Friends shouldn't fight friends. Peter Griffin and the Chicken were friends once... once.
RSparrow- March 3, 2011 at 11:34 am
Having your career in the UFC, you're ultimate goal HAS to be get the belt. If you let that pass you by, then someone else will take it. It's not personal, its business. You can be friends again when the fifteen minutes is over.
Fried Taco- March 3, 2011 at 11:10 am
I remember back in KC, my good buddy and I went head to head to see who was best qualified for the new job. Even though things got heated for a bit, after it was all over we continued to be friends. But I tell ya, ReX, some day I'll be back at your McDonald's, and it will be the fight of your life to hold on to your shift manager job.

See, Rashad, it can work out.
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