By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
“Right now I know that I’m hunted by Rashad Evans, and that’s something that I’m comfortable with. It’s disheartening, big time, because I know Rashad’s going through a lot of pressure, and he feels betrayed and I’m sure a lot of people are harassing him on the internet. I see the tweets that people send him, and it’s tough because Rashad’s a great guy, he’s a great father, he’s a great person, and after this fight, whoever wins or loses, it’s gonna be different for us and I don’t see our relationship being the same. Obviously leading up to a fight, there has to be ways a fighter can get himself amped up and motivated, and unfortunately that’s always by crap talking and talking about your opponent’s game and his weaknesses, and it’s a war of words before the actual combat, so I know we won’t be the same, which is very disheartening, but at the same time, I have what he wants right now, so I have to prepare myself to the fullest to defend it. It’s an interesting combination of emotions that I have.”
-UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones talks to UFC.com about the changes that will come to his relationship with Rashad Evans now that they’ll face each other for the title.
Penick’s Analysis: From a professional fighter standpoint, Jones realizes that a bout with Evans is what makes sense for both of them and the UFC. Clearly he’s conflicted with fighting someone he’s come to respect and learn from, but it’s the right fight in the light heavyweight division and it’s the fight that the UFC can sell best right now. It’s going to be an easy sell for all involved, and though the two will never be the same as friends, this fight is all about which of them is the best light heavyweight in the world. The fight business is just that, a business, and this fight will bring big money to both fighters and the UFC.
[Jon Jones art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]