By Zach Arnold | March 21, 2011
I posted a video earlier of Scott Coker’s interview with HDNet and discussed some of the interesting messages that one could take away from watching it. Well, there were two other video interviews from this past weekend at UFC 128 that are also worth your while and paint another awkward, albeit higher-profile situation and that’s the triangle between Greg Jackson, UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones, and #1 contender Rashad Evans. Jones got a title shot against Shogun after Evans injured his knee during training at Jackson’s camp in New Mexico.
There’s the set-up for this short, but intriguing interview that Evans did after watching Jones dismantle Shogun at UFC 128 in Newark, New Jersey:
(Meeting Jon Jones in the cage after he won the Light Heavyweight title.)
ARIEL HELWANI: “What was that experience like for you?”
RASHAD EVANS: “Uh, you know, I thought about it, it was going to happen before it even happened, so it’s whatever.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “Was it awkward considering your friendship with Jon?”
RASHAD EVANS: “Uh, this whole’s situation awkward, you know. It is what it is.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “You seem to be experiencing some mixed emotions right now.”
RASHAD EVANS: “Yeah, I’m happy for the dude, he went out there and he fought well, you know I’m happy for him that he looked phenomenal. But at the same time, he’s got that strap so now I got to go and get it.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “Were you pulling for Shogun so that you wouldn’t be in this situation?”
RASHAD EVANS: “No, I knew I was going to fight him, no matter if he lost tonight or not. I was going to fight him.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “What did you think of his performance?”
RASHAD EVANS: “Phenomenal, great performance.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “Did you expect him to dominate the fight that easily?”
RASHAD EVANS: “Yes I did. From the minute they called that he was going to fight him, I knew that he was going to destroy him.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “And when you’re watching that are you thinking of how you will fight him now? Or you haven’t really…”
RASHAD EVANS: “I already know how to fight him, I train with him!”
ARIEL HELWANI: “Right. What do you think you’re going to do? Will you train with Jackson’s or stay at Grudge, do you know?”
RASHAD EVANS: “I’m done with Jackson’s.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “You’re done? How come?”
RASHAD EVANS: “I’m done.”
ARIEL HELWANI: “You feel as though they betrayed you?”
RASHAD EVANS: “I’m done. I’m done with Jackson’s.”
- Ben Fowlkes: UFC Wastes No Time Pitting Jones Against Evans, With Good Reason
- Bloody Elbow: Rashad Evans a +375 underdog for the fight against Bones Jones
- Yahoo Sports: Is Jon Jones the first true UFC crossover sports superstar?
After those comments, there was this interview with Greg Jackson. He was asked about Jon Jones winning the Light Heavyweight title and the impending match between Jones and Evans.
“It’s a bittersweet moment for me because, you know, Rashad’s got to fight [Jon Jones] next and I love Rashad like a brother. I love Jon like a brother, so I’m extremely happy for Jon, you know, he showed what he can do. But, yeah, it’s bittersweet.”
He was even less thrilled when he saw Jones and Evans face off in the cage.
“I couldn’t even be in the cage, you know what I mean? I’m not going to corner anybody for that fight. The coaches will have to figure it out on their own, but I love Rashad and I love Jon and I hope after they fight we can be one big happy family again because, for me, it’s all about the love and I won’t have anything to do with the two of them fighting.”
And it got worse from there when Rashad’s comments about being finished with Jackson’s was relayed.
“Well, you know, I’m hoping that it’s just emotion talking and that won’t be the case because we love him to death and I love him to death.
“There’s a lot of things that are said that I hope aren’t meant.
“You know, again… I don’t, how can I say it? I’m a veteran of a lot of situations and so I’m not going to be like tearing my hair out or anything like that. I’m hoping that, like my heart and my optimism, every great fighter even though I’m not in there fighting you know I do put in a lot of hours, has to be an optimist at heart so I’m an optimist that it’s all going to work out.
“I mean, how would you feel if your brother was going to fight your brother, you know what I mean? If everybody was like, ‘who’s going to win that fight?!?! Your one brother or your other brother?’ You’d be like, I don’t really want to see them fight, so that’s just me, though, you know. The UFC wants what it wants and the fans want what they want and, you know, I’m happily being an unimportant person, so that’s just my opinion.
“Yeah, I can’t win that one, so I’m not going to play.
“I’ll need all the bright side that I can get.”
UFC is more than happy to pour gasoline on this fire.