(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.