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Jon Jones Was Willing to Fake an Injury a Year Ago to Avoid Fighting ‘His Brother’ Rashad Evans

(Video courtesy of YouTube/MMAScrapsRadio)

What a difference a year makes.

Less than 365 days ago, newly-crowned UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones appeared on MMAScraps Radio and told  Pat Barry, who was then the co-host of the show, that there was no way, no how he would ever fight a teammate, especially not “his brother Rashad Evans.”

Jones’ change of heart has caused a rift in Albuquerque which caused Evans to move his camp from Team Jackson to Imperial Athletics in Boca Raton Florida, where he will train with displaced former members of American Top Team who have set up shop there including Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante, Jorge Santiago and the Villefort brothers.

In the interview, Jones backed Evans recent revelation that he had to agree to never fight any of his Jackson teammates as a condition of joining the revered fight team — a clause he later publicly reneged on prompting the former champ to accept the offer to face his heir apparent and former training partner. Interestingly, even when Barry tried at length to convince Jones that fighting a teammate wasn’t a big deal, “Bones” didn’t waver in his stance that it simply wouldn’t happen. He even went so far as to say that if pressed by the UFC to fight Evans or Keith Jardine, he would find a way out of the bout even if it meant faking an injury.

Check out the transcript of the interview after the jump.


Who’s the Right “Ace” to Defeat “The Joker” Jon Jones?

Rashad Evans Rampage Jackson Phil Davis Lyoto Machida
(I guess that would make Anderson Silva the other joker, and Randy Couture the “Rules of Poker” instructional card that always gets lost.)

By Anton Gurevich

After just three years of MMA competition, Jon “Bones” Jones became the youngest champion in the UFC’s history. Jones defeated the PRIDE legend Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in an impressive fashion to become the new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, proving to everyone once again that “the hype is real.”

The Greg Jackson product is currently 7-1 in his Ultimate Fighting Championship campaign, defeating Andre Gusmao, Stephan Bonnar, Jake O’Brien, Brandon Vera, Vladimir Matyushenko and Ryan Bader on his way to the triumph against Shogun Rua at UFC 128. His only defeat came via DQ (“12-6 elbows”) against Matt Hamill at the TUF 10 Finale event on Dec. 5th, 2009.

And since the majority of Jacks, Queens and Kings of the UFC Light Heavyweight division are behind him, here’s the list of four aces who may be on their way to challenging “The Joker” Jon Jones for his belt…

Continue reading on


Afternoon Video Dump: Irvin vs. Khalidov, Pitbull vs. Karakhanyan + More

(Props: pedrommabjj via Fightlinker)

If you have a morbid interest in seeing how James Irvin’s last fight against Mamed Khalidov went, well, here you go. I’m not going to throw around the word “work,” but check out how wide and telegraphed Irvin’s punches are, starting at the 0:21 mark — it’s the universal non-verbal sign for “please armbar me so I can collect my paycheck and head to the airport.” And that’s pretty much what happens. Happy now?

After the jump: The brutal finish of Patricio “Pitbull” Freire vs. Georgi Karakhanyan from Saturday’s Bellator show, Junior Dos Santos pulls off a pretty damn respectable “Showtime Kick,” and the gif of Shogun tapping against Jon Jones at the end of their fight at UFC 128, in case you haven’t seen it yet.


Ryan Bader vs. Tito Ortiz Targeted for UFC 132 July 2

It looks like Ryan Bader will getting the fight he wants for his next bout.

Bader mentioned last month in an interview with ESPN on the heels of his UFC 126 loss to Jon Jones that before he retires, he would like to square off with Tito Ortiz and according to MMAWeekly he will get his wish.

“I would want to fight Tito Ortiz,” Bader told “Just because I grew up watching him. I want to have one of those guys on my résumé like a Randy Couture or Chuck Liddell. Purely out of respect, he’s one I’d like to fight before my career is over.”

Both fighters confirmed the bout was a go on Twitter today, but did not name a date or venue. The MMAWeekly report states that the pair will square off at UFC 132 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV.


As Rashad Evans Says He’s ‘Done’ with Greg Jackson, Shit Gets Uncomfortable in Light Heavyweight Division

(Vid: MMA Fighting)

For being one of MMA’s more tried-and-true institutions, there is always something a little awkward about those postfight confrontations in the cage between champion and challenger. Emotions are running high and the heat of the moment has a way of testing fighters’ grasp of the English language, spawning hilarious internet memes and sometimes even sparking enormous, embarrassing brawls. Still, we’re not sure our sport has ever seen an in-ring altercation as hard-to-watch as Jon Jones and Rashad Evans at UFC 128. Both dudes looked more like they were entering into a suicide pact than agreeing to face-off in a professional sporting contest as they mumbled halfhearted “trash” talk into Joe Rogan’s microphone and then sealed their impending friend-vs.-friend fight with the world’s least enthusiastic handshake.

We’re talking second-season-of-the-British-“Office” levels of discomfort here, like The Situation bombing at Donald Trump’s roast or Carl Lewis singing the anthem at that Bulls game. Everybody involved (including us) couldn’t wait for it to be over. Immediately afterward, when Evans cut the above interview with Ariel Helwani where he declares he’s “done” working with Greg Jackson’s camp and then Jackson himself had to think of five or six different ways to explain how badly this situation sucks for him, we realized: We’re just getting started here. In Jones vs. Rashad, we may be poised on the brink of the most uncomfortable feud in UFC history.


UFC 128 Aftermath: New School Meets True School (And Practically Disembowels It)

“In Mirko’s case, GTL means “Going to Lose”.

It may be too early to declare that a new era has begun, but last night proved that the old one is on life support. The Prudential Center is used to watching some pretty lopsided beatdowns, but even the hometown crowd seemed surprised at what they were watching. Unlike the Nets, fans actually expected Shogun to put up competitive effort.

Last night was business as usual for the newly crowned LHW champion, Jon Jones. Shogun, who landed only eleven strikes all night, was outclassed in literally every aspect of the fight. It’s no exaggeration to say that Jones made Shogun look like the 23 year old fighting a legend of Pride. For that matter, it’s barely an exaggeration to say that Jones made Shogun look like the untrained mugger he stopped in the park earlier that day. It’s tempting to prematurely declare the Jon Jones Era after last night. But let’s wait until he defends the belt first.


UFC 128: Live Results & Commentary

(“’I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.’ Walt Whitman, bitches! What!” Pic:

If you believe Jon Jones’ personal Twitter feed, it sounds like he, Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn chased down and subdued a criminal crackhead this afternoon after they witnessed said crackhead stealing a GPS navigation system out of some lady’s car. That’s Jersey for you. Seriously though, can you even imagine the poor, unlucky-ass vagrant who’s just out for his Saturday afternoon smash-and-grab when he suddenly finds himself involved in a foot pursuit with this fucking guy? That’s one race you are not going to win, son. Yahoo’s Steve Cofield has the story, though to get the gist you really only have to read the following two sentences, which sound like they came out of a goddamned Joseph Wambaugh novel or some shit: “In the scuffle, the robber was bloodied. The trainers said some blood got on their pants.” Pure Poetry, Cofield, for real.

Now, if Jones manages to follow up his citizen’s arrest by winning the UFC light heavyweight title tonight against Shogun Rua at UFC 128? That’ll make for a pretty epic day, man. Speaking of epic, our live blog of the PPV event kicks off at 10 p.m. EST. Prior to that, we’ll probably shoot you some short recaps of the SpikeTV prelims, too, if we feel like it. Don’t be afraid to hit refresh early and often. You won’t want to miss this …


UFC 128 Preview: Trite Clichés and Comparisons For Everyone

Rua practically gazing into a mirror.

No matter who you’re rooting for at UFC 128, you’re all but guaranteed an exciting night of fights that have the potential to launch some careers and end others. Luckily for lazy writers everywhere, many of the bouts line up perfectly with tried and true analysis that’s been written a hundred times before. Here’s a half-hearted breakdown of tonight’s action, joined by your blisteringly accurate predictions in the comments section.


On Jones & Destiny: An Interview With Sports Psychologist Brian Cain

Jon Jones force feeding his destiny to Brandon Vera.

It’s crazy that so many people are looking past champion Mauricio Rua, fully anointing Jon Jones the future of the light heavyweight division before they even step in the cage. Crazy, but kind of understandable. Jones is incredibly athletic, innovative, and unpredictable, and it looks like he has all of the physical tools to take out anyone in his path. The bookmakers know it, and it’s become painfully obvious over the last couple of weeks that “Bones” does as well.

Jones has displayed no shortage of confidence in recent interviews, stating that he’s already won the fight and that he’s currently signing autographs as “Champ 2011”, leading some to question whether he’s lost touch with reality. Hearing Jones—who’s greatest accomplishment in the sport to date was his recent victory over Ryan Bader—already discussing his legacy and the impact he wants to make on the world is enough to make you question if he is really focused on the task at hand or if he’s taking his opponent too lightly and setting himself up for failure. Believing in yourself is a must to succeed in this sport, but can Jones’s over-abundance of self-confidence actually work against him in this fight? Hell if I know. That’s why I got in touch with Brian Cain, the famed sports psychologist who has worked with MMA standouts like Georges St. Pierre, Rashad Evans, and Rich Franklin. My feeble attempts at arm-chair psychology and Cain’s insightful answers await you after the jump.


Dana White UFC 128 Video Blog # 2

(Video courtesy of YouTube/UFC)

Damn, New Yorkers are crazy for the UFC — that and free shit. I can’t imagine begging Dana and the fighters for their clothes, tickets or autographs. Maybe it’s just me.

The Cliffs Notes of this episode are after the jump.