Don’t know about y’all, but I already miss the days when the Rashad Evans/Jon Jones situation was merely awkward, and not openly hostile. The gloves finally came off yesterday when Evans gave an interview to BloodyElbow in which he told everyone what he really thinks about the new UFC light-heavyweight champion, and reveals that he never wanted to train with Jones in the first place. Some highlights…
On Jones’s change of heart before the Shogun fight: “I mean it’s one thing to say something in an interview but the least you could have picked up the phone and been like, ‘man I did an interview today and they kind of put me on the spot with a rough question and I answered it this way.’ At least give me the heads up so that way I know and not look at it if he’s Judas or something. You know who Judas is? That interview was some backstabbing s**t but now it’s like whatever because now I know the game he is playing. Then for Greg to sit back and say he doesn’t want to have anything to do with it….why not? You f**kin’ created the situation. Be his coach and be in his corner. That’s what you want so do it. I don’t care if he coaches against me. It doesn’t even matter.”
[Ed. note: Yeah, I think a guy with a New Testament scripture inked on his chest is pretty familiar with Judas. In all of the verbal-trash that will be slung around in the lead-up to this fight, this is probably the line that will stick with — and motivate — Jones the most.]
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.
Last night in Albuquerque, Keith Jardine picked up a TKO victory over Austin native Aron Lofton at Double Impact. Jardine dominated Lofton throughout the fight before slamming him and punching him out three and a half minutes into the fight. The fight marks Jardine’s second straight victory since being bounced from the UFC back in June. Granted, a victory over an 8-4 prospect who hasn’t fought anyone we’ve heard of doesn’t exactly prove much. But at least he’ll probably get paid for this, which is an improvement from his last fight.
Also victorious last night was professional boxer turned mixed martial artist Holly Holm, who made her MMA debut against Christina Domke. Domke managed to take down and mount Holm early, but once Holm got back on her feet this one wasn’t close. As expected, the decorated boxer outstruck Domke, punctuating her combinations with hard leg kicks. Holm knocked down Domke with a leg kick at almost four minutes into the second, giving her the stoppage. Apparently, Holm turned around after flooring Domke expecting a mandatory eight count. Isn’t that adorable?
Highlights of Holm’s victory from the local news after the jump:
Our video reporter at large, Sal Mora recently caught up with former UFC light heavyweight standout Keith Jardine at his recently opened Mean1 MMA & Fitness gym in Albuquerque, NM and broached a number of topics with "The Dean of Mean."
Jardine gave us the scoop on what went down in the Dominican Republic during the nightmare Nemesis Fighting show on December 11 and also outlined his goals for 2011, which include stringing together a few solid wins and making his way back to the UFC. He recently helped establish PaytheFighters.com, a not-for-profit website whose purpose is to raise money to pay all of the short changed fighters on the Nemesis card.
(“Nemesis MMA” was the worst thing to happen to Keith Jardine since … well, whatever the last thing that happened to Keith Jardine was. PicProps: EstherLin/SharkFights)
If you were paying attention to our report on Tuesday – or following Ben Askren on Twitter, which we can only assume you absolutely are – then you had an inkling that last weekend’s independent “Nemesis MMA” show in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic was something of a disaster. Truth is, “disaster” doesn’t even begin to cover it. From accusations that Keith Jardine was greased-up in the main event to reports that paychecks started bouncing as soon as the athletes returned to the First World, it was clear from the get-go this thing was gonna be a mess. Brother, we had no idea.
MMA Weekly gets the scoop straight from Paul Buentello and Eliot Marshall, who were both “winners” at the event. Now, we know what you’re thinking: Shady independent MMA promoters stocking a show in the DR with semi-recognizable talent and promising a “four-day, all-inclusive, world-class experience in paradise?” What could possibly go wrong, right? Well, tons of shit actually, when you don’t have an athletic commission (or anyone at all) looking after health and safety issues. Get a good look Libertarians, this is the world you want to live in …
"Just talked to [Kiko] he said nemesis was a complete mess. No judges. Jardine was greased. His check bounced. Doesn’t get much worse."
Which of course begs the question, how does one lose a decision in a fight with no judges? The greasing thing could be sour grapes, but it’s always notable when a Greg Jackson-associated fighter is accused of lubing up, considering that so many of them have been accused of that particular cheat in the past. (See: Georges St. Pierre, Nate Marquardt, Roger Huerta, Rashad Evans, Diego Sanchez.)
("Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? To me, that’s the definition of ‘warrior‘." / Photo courtesy of allelbows.)
When you’re on a five-fight losing streak like former UFC light-heavyweight contender Keith Jardine, there’s two ways you can approach your situation. 1) You can take a few months off to completely re-assess your skills, weaknesses, and motivation. Or, 2) You can get back in the cage as soon as possible in a desperate attempt to wash off the stink of failure. The Dean of Mean, God help him, is going for option two.
Just two months after his demoralizing loss to Trevor Prangley at Shark Fights 13, Keith Jardine will take on Francisco "Kiko" France in the main event of "MMA Global Invasion," which will be held November 13 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. (Props to MMAFighting for the heads-up.) France is a 6-1 light-heavyweight who has claimed all of his victories by submission, including four by arm-triangle choke. He’s competed for various organizations in Missouri and Mississippi; most notably, he appeared on the undercard of Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery, where he finished Lee Brousseau by first-round rear-naked choke.