Official UFC light heavyweight benchwarmer Rashad Evans – seriously, it’s been what? A year since this guy fought? – stopped by Pro MMA Radio this week to give his account of that “nightclub altercation” with Jon Jones we’ve been hearing so much about lately. Let us say from the outset that our first thought upon reading this transcript from 5th Round.com was to wonder how differently Jones’ version of events would be. Significantly, we’re betting. For now, all we have to go on however is Rashad’s take on the subject which – get your surprised face ready – makes Evans look pretty cool under fire and Jones look pretty dorky. So, you know, grain of salt and all that.
A little scene setter: Both Evans and Jones were attending the UFC fighter summit in Vegas last week when they independently decided to take in some much needed R&R (from their busy schedules of tending to injuries and defending themselves from haters on Twitter) at something called “Surrender nightclub at Encore.” Yeah, sounds shitty. Anyway, both being fairly sizable dudes in what we can only assume were just epic outfits, it didn’t take them long to find each other on the dance floor or the VIP or the champagne court or wherever the fuck dudes hang out in places called “Surrender.” From here, we’ll let Rashad pick up the narrative …
“He pulled me to the side and he said ‘Rashad, I need to talk to you. I think things are getting out of control,’” Evans says. “I thought it was pretty mature for the young guy instead of just ignoring me. First thing he said was ‘I just wanna be the first to tell you, I’m gonna destroy you. I’m gonna annihilate you and I’m gonna show the world you’re overrated. I’m gonna punish you and you’ll be my first highlight reel knockout’ and I just started laughing.”
Wait, what? Already the needle on our bullshit detector is humming a little bit. But moving on, Evans says Jones then tried to remind him of a particularly one-sided training session when Jones was brutalizing him with knees and elbows. To this, Rashad retorted at the time, he was only simulating Ryan Bader; the implicit point being that if Rashad had been simulating, uh, Rashad, things would have gone much differently. They would have gone a little more like this:
“I told him ‘Do you remember when I held you down and I was slapping you and punching you in the face and you were underneath me and you couldn’t move and then you looked me in the eye and said ‘Ok, can we get up now?’ and I said ‘No Jon, if you quit now, you’ll quit in the fight. You gotta earn your way up.’ So we fought some more and you couldn’t move some more and you said ‘Can you help me?’ and I said ‘No, you have to earn your way up.’ And we go for a little bit longer and you still can’t get up so you roll on your back to let me choke you out thinking I’d let you up and be satisfied with that, but I didn’t. I continued to make you work up.’
“I said ‘Do you remember that?’ and he said “Yeah, I remember that’ and I said ‘That’s why you don’t want to fight me’ and he was just lost for words for a second and he told me, ‘Rashad, you just motivating me. You don’t know what you started!’
“And it just went like that and it just ended when a couple people from our parties separated the two of us.”
Frankly, this account makes both guys look so lame that we’re almost inclined to think it’s accurate. Or at least partially. From what we saw from confrontations involving Evans during his season as a coach on TUF however, we’re sure things went down far more awkwardly than this, with a lot more endless repetition of phrases like, “Oh yeah? Oh yeah? Oh yeah?” and a lot more of him invading the other dude’s personal space, possibly with a swizzle stick in his mouth and possibly wearing a pair of incredibly dope sunglasses.
But instead of trying to fact check any of this – or wonder how it could possibly happen in 2011 without someone getting at least a cell phone pic of it – we’re just going to slide on our old-fuddy-duddy cap and wonder aloud if these two professional athletes, one of whom is allegedly recovering from an injury and the other of whom is allegedly preparing for a bout in August, ought to be out jawing with each other at Vegas nightspots. Especially ones called shit like “Surrender.”