Jon Jones and Rashad Evans have one of the most heated rivalries in the UFC. The bad blood between the two dates back to 2009 when Jones was coming off a dominant win and Evans was looking to reclaim the light heavyweight championship. From the very beginning, tension between Jones and Evans has been high, with both fighters trading verbal jabs and physical blows in the octagon.
Let’s take a look at the history of the rivalry.
Background of Jon Jones and Rashad Evans
Jon Jones and Rashad Evans have been bitter rivals in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) for many years now. The two fighters had a long-standing relationship that went back to their days as training partners before becoming enemies. It all began when Jon Jones was awarded a championship title by the UFC after defending his belt against Lyoto Machida in December 2011. In response to the title win for Jon, Rashad Evans, who had previously been offered the same championship opportunity prior to Jones’s victory, expressed how he felt unappreciated and taken for granted by the UFC organization while speaking in several post-match interviews.
The bad blood between them simmered and intensified when they were set to fight each other at UFC 145 in April 2012. The premise of this match-up was highly emotional due to considerable tension between them, stemming from their strained relationship as training partners along with Rashad’s dissatisfaction over his loss at the hands of Jon’s former teammate Lyoto Machida.
The rivalry between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans remains one of the most notorious feuds in MMA history symbolizing a classic tale of betrayal versus loyalty rising above all else. Throughout their feud, none of the two fighters backed down from fulfilling this long-awaited grudge match that saw great sportsmanship both during and after their fight night at UFC 145 where neither fighter made excuses nor issued foul language outbursts towards each other even though it seemed personal feelings were being reiterated inside that octagon cage.
The Beginning of the Rivalry
The rivalry between mixed martial artists Jon Jones and Rashad Evans began in 2008 when UFC President Dana White signed both fighters to the same organization. Since then, the two have been engaged in a heated rivalry that has led to a number of controversial moments.
The animosity between the two started to reach its boiling point when they were both selected to be on Season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter.
Jon jones vs rashad evans
The year was 2011. It all began one night, during the UFC’s Ultimate Fight Night 23, when Jon Jones and Rashad Evans walked into a cage to determine who would be crowned the new light-heavyweight champion of the UFC. Little did anyone know that the battle between these two warriors would set off a massive rivalry that still resonates in the MMA world today.
Jon Jones and Rashad Evans had been training partners for years before deciding to fight in UFC 145 for the 205-pound title. In fact, Jones had even given Evans two of his championship belts from his previous fights against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Due to their professional and personal relationship, this fight was carrying with it an immense amount of emotions and expectations from both sides.
It wasn’t until after the weigh-in before the bout when things started to get heated between the two fighters. Each fighter was confident of their respective chances at victory on fight night but tempers flared as heated back and forth words were exchanged at different times during promotion activities leading up to UFC 145. Fans saw this beef take physical form during a face-off at weigh-ins where both fighters stared each other down without saying a word due to rules prohibiting trash talking until after fight night had concluded. This image spoke volumes about what would transpire in just a few days’ time inside of an Octagon – an intense grudge match between two rivals that had become an unexpected turn of events due to their respective mind sets heading into their championship clash due to their shared past relationship as teammates/training partners within Greg Jackson’s MMA gym.
The post-fight altercation
On December 29, 2012 the feud between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans reached its heated climax during a post-fight press conference in Toronto. After finishing his fight against Vitor Belfort, Jon Jones made a few comments regarding Rashad Evans that prompted an angry response from his former teammate and created a hostile atmosphere between the two fighters.
In response to Jones referring to him as “overrated,” Evans angrily shouted that he was going to “break” Jones on his next fight and the two had to be separated by security personnel. Although the situation descended into chaos, it provided further evidence of the bad blood shared between these two top light heavyweight contenders.
The tension between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans was amplified further when it was announced that they would face each other in an Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) light heavyweight title fight later that year at UFC 145 on April 21st, 2012.
The intense rivalry between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans is well-known in MMA circles. Both men were former teammates on the legendary Greg Jackson’s team, and after both of them had reached the top of the ladder, the bad blood between them boiled over.
This section will outline the real depth of the beef, and how it has affected both MMA fighters.
The animosity between the two fighters
Since their time together at the Jackson MMA Academy in New Mexico, two former light heavyweight champions Jon Jones and Rashad Evans have been locked in a bitter rivalry. The two were close allies during their formative years, often training together and exchanging techniques with one another.
However, that admiration soon turned to animosity when the unlikely duo pulled each other into a heated feud over a 2011 title shot. Jones ultimately declined the fight against Evans, who was his mentor and close friend, resulting in a public breakdown of their relationship – both personal and professional.
The rivalry between the two fighters came to a head after Evans’ 2012 victory over then-champion Phil Davis. After earning the belt, he made it clear that his ultimate goal was to put Jones “on his ass” for not accepting their initial title fight encounter. Both fighters now reign as champions in different divisions –Jones remains as the Light Heavyweight champion while Evans is now currently fighting as a welterweight — but the bad blood between them continues to linger on till this day.
The impact on their respective careers
The fallout between UFC light heavyweight rivals Jon Jones and Rashad Evans has had a major impact on the careers of both fighters. The bitter feud between the two champions has not just affected their personal lives, but their professional paths as well.
Jon Jones has seen unprecedented success since rising to top of the light heavyweight division, claiming numerous titles and breaking records in the process. With his dominant style and superior skills, Jones was considered to be one of the greatest fighters in MMA history even before his feud with Rashad Evans began. However, his decision to fight his former team mate at UFC 145 would prove considerably controversial, leading to a degree of animosity that would continue throughout the years that followed.
Meanwhile, Rashad Evans’ career underwent significant changes since challenging Jon Jones at UFC 145. Where once he was viewed as a potential successor to Anderson Silva’s throne as MMA’s pound-for-pound king, he since relinquished much of his power within that discussion due to struggles against other opponents such as Phil Davis and Glover Teixeira. Furthermore, he has split time competing both at light heavyweight and middleweight divisions over the years due to medical issues maintaining for cut for fights down at 205 lbs. Although it cannot be argued that either competitor have fallen from grace completely (as both are now firmly entrenched in title contender positions in their respective divisions), there can be no denying that parting ways by way of competition strained their previous relationship – having an undoubtedly detrimental effect on long-term prospects for both men going forward.
Jon Jones and Rashad Evans starred together on the same team back in the day and had a great relationship. The two went on to fight each other in a match that saw Jones as victor. While their relationship has been on a downward spiral since then, there have been recent attempts of reconciliation between them.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the history between Jones and Evans and their recent attempts at reuniting.
The reconciliation between Jones and Evans
After it was revealed at a press conference that Jon Jones and Rashad Evans had taken part in a reconciliation session following their once-bitter rivalry, fans of the sport rejoiced. Many believed the reconciliation signalled an important turning point not only between two of Mixed Martial Arts’ (MMA) most successful and engaging fighters, but also in how MMA athletes can move past disagreements toward unity.
It all started back in 2011, when Jones and Evans were training mates at Greg Jackson’s camp in NJ. It was at this point that Jones had lobbied for (and eventually won) a title shot against his trainer and mentor, Mauricio Rua for the light-heavyweight championship. Evans felt he had been wrongfully passed over for this opportunity and the respect between teammates – which is considered sacred in MMA – was broken, resulting in a highly publicised feud.
The public spat turned more serious when the division rivalry moved off social media into real life; during interviews Jones made snide remarks about his former teammate’s clothing line and attitude whilst some of Brentwood’s top promoters (incl Evan’s then manager) accused Jon Jones of being unprofessional during fight negotiations. The rift seemed too deep to repair until two men bravely stepped away from their ego and bandied together to end the conflict.
In September 2017, they finally set aside those differences between them to break bread together while mending old wounds, signing gloves with their highest regards after an emotional court hearing signallying closure on the longstanding feud. It goes to show what can be achieved when two people are willing to turn down fighting words and embrace understanding over animosity.
The aftermath of their reunion
In 2013, former UFC light heavyweight champions and longtime teammates Jon Jones and Rashad Evans appeared together in the Octagon for the first time since their bitter feud. Jones, the current champion, had earned a decision win over his rival, who previously held the belt and trained at the same gym. Jones silenced any recent doubt about his standing as a champion with a masterful performance that left no doubts among fans as to who would be leaving with the belt.
The aftermath of their reunion showed a surprisingly amicable relationship between old friends. Jones opened up to Evans after their fight, expressing regret over how their situation unfolded. The two hugged and on camera, appeared to be indifferent to the bad blood between them from years past. The friendly post-fight moments between them ended nearly two years’ worth of tension that had put both men at odds for a long time. Despite previous claims from each fighter that they would never patch things up between them, this reunion showed that unconditional love and respect exists even through deep divisions – forming something of an unlikely MMA friendship.