(So wait, it ISN’T casual Friday?)
Thank Science, the UFC’s six week drought is finally coming to an end. After Alexander Gustafsson and Thiago Silva throw down at this weekend’s UFC on FUEL event in Sweden, Rashad Evans will finally get the chance to slay the metaphorical white whale, that has long alluded him when he takes on former friend/current foe Jon Jones at UFC 145. These two have been going at it for what seems like years now, and when the pair sat down alongside Jon Anik on a recent episode of Ultimate Insider, things got heated rather quickly.
It all started (at least this time) when Anik brought up Greg Jackson, who will in fact be cornering Jones against Evans come April 21st. Ever since Evans departed from Team Jackson, let’s just say that he and Greg haven’t been on the best of terms. Or even speaking terms, for that matter. Jones, however, feels that the rift between them is mainly due to Evans constant bashing of the very camp he helped build. Here’s what he began to say:
Greg, he said, basically, Rashad is always welcome back. You know, Rashad will always be like a brother to me. You know, he spoke so highly of Rashad. On numerous occasions, he really did everything he could to keep some type of rapport.
Evans quickly chimed in, “He did everything, but he didn’t even give me a call and talk to me. He did everything but couldn’t do the simplest thing.”
Jones brushed off the remark, stating, “On the other hand, you have Rashad, who’s bashing the program and the history -”
It was at this point that Rashad all but flew off the handle, claiming that he was Team Jackson’s history, and that Jones was basically just riding on his coattails. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Anik tried to remain calm while cautiously scanning the Ultimate Insider studio for someone big enough to separate these two if need be, because it sure as shit wasn’t going to be him.
“The history?!” Evans interrupted:
I made that history! What are you talking about? I’m the one who helped make that history! You’re the one who came into it. You came into it! Don’t talk about the history, when you have no roots in the history! Don’t talk about — I helped make Greg Jackson! I helped make him the reason why you even wanted to come there and train. So, don’t talk to me about the history of the team, bro! Don’t talk to me about the history of the program because, motherf*cker, I made that program.
Jones kept his cool, firing back that “There’s more to Jackson’s than the four or five or six UFC fighters that’s on the program. It’s the kids who aren’t in the UFC.”
We gotta say, this is perhaps the most fluent and composed we have seen Jones in an interview scenario. Sure, it sounded a little weird when he declared that all of the non-UFC fighters in Team Jackson “loved him” and that “it was his team now,” but he managed to turn nearly all of Evans’ words against him like a seasoned trash-talker.
Take the following verbal exchange for instance, which came after Evans claimed he “already knew” what Team Jackson was going to tell Jones to do in the cage. When Jones replied that the only weapons Evans possessed were his right hand and his wrestling, Evans thought he had the end all response, but was instantly shut down:
Evans – “Jon, you just showed me why exactly you’re going to lose.”
Jones – “Why’s that?”
Evans- “‘Cause you think you know.”
Jones – “And you think you know. You just said that. Yo, you’re weird, bro.”
Point – Jones
The fact is, no matter what Evans claims to have in his arsenal that he hasn’t displayed in some 14 UFC fights, it is undoubtedly true that Jones brings more diversity to the table than he does. And for Evans to state that he knows what someone as inventive as Jones is going to do seems a little ludicrous, especially when Jones was spot on in his analysis of Evans.
To be fair, Evans made some great points when it came to the somewhat questionable loyalty of Greg Jackson’s gym, using Carlos Condit as a prime example:
That’s why I feel so disrespected. It’s like, ‘So, now Greg, you’re gonna go against me? You’re gonna go against me, right? You gonna go against Georges St. Pierre? Oh, okay. You gonna bring in Carlos Condit? He helped make you too. So where does your loyalty lie?’ So, if you’re gonna go against the people that helped make you, and I was somebody like in Jon’s position, I’d be like, ‘Man, if he’ll go against some people that were with him, to help him get his notoriety, to help him get where he is, then damn, what would he do to me?’
Point – Evans.
We haven’t been treated to a grudge match this intense in quite some time, so if you’re not planning on ordering, stealing, or watching UFC 145 from your neighbor’s apartment via a pair of binoculars, it’s safe to say that you’ll be missing out. We haven’t prodded you on this particular match for at least a week, so who you got for this one?