03-20-2011, 10:49 PM
MMA, VCU, & Doctor Who
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Basketball Capital of the World
Suga Leaves Team Jackson to Start Own Team
Jon Jones' destruction of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128 on Saturday night has set up a bout that, just six weeks ago, was "never going to happen."
Greg Jackson teammate Rashad Evans is the number one contender for Jones' title, and this situation has now split the two of them, and with Evans now on board for a fight he said before he didn't want, he says he's also done with Jackson and his camp.
"I'm done with Jackson's. I'm done," Evans said bluntly to MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani after the fight Saturday. Asked if he felt betrayed by Jackson's camp, Evans simply repeated "I'm done with Jackson's."
Evans went into slightly more detail on Twitter on Sunday, explaining that it was Jackson's decision to bring Jones in initially when Rashad was against the idea.
"Greg brought this situation about," Evans wrote. "He brought Jones on board a while back against my wishes & here we [are] today."
"So I decided [to] leave Greg because I felt like he didn't have my best interest anymore. Greg is not the same coach he use [to be]."
Evans said he's been preparing himself for this matchup mentally, as he believed Jones would do just what he did to Shogun on Saturday night.
"I thought about, it was going to happen even before it happened," he said. "This whole situation is awkward, but it is what it is. I'm happy for the dude, he went out there and fought well… he looked phenomenal, but at the same time, he's got that strap so now I have to go get it. I know I was going to fight him, no matter if he lost tonight or not, I was going to fight him [eventually]...
"His performance was phenomenal. From the minute they [set up] that fight, I knew [Jones] was going to destroy him."
For Greg Jackson, Jones' huge win was a bittersweet moment for him. As a longtime friend and trainer of Evans and mentor and friend to Jones, this is a fight he has no desire to see.
"I'm really happy for Jon Jones, it's a very bittersweet moment for me because Rashad's gotta fight him next," Jackson said in a separate interview with Helwani. "I love Rashad like a brother, I love Jon like a brother. I'm extremely happy for Jon, he showed what he could do, but it's bittersweet."
"I couldn't even be in the cage [for the Jones-Evans faceoff], 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 they can be one 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."
Helwani informed Jackson of Evans' statement that he was done with the camp, and Jackson was caught off guard, saying it was the first he'd heard of that.
"I'm hoping it's just emotion talking and that won't be the case, cause we love him to death and I love him to death," Jackson said. "This is the first time I'm hearing it. But you know you get emotional and [with] the crowd, there's a lot of things that are said that I hope aren't meant.
"I'm a veteran of a lot of situations, so I'm not going to be tearing my hair out or anything like that... Every great fighter has to be an optimist at heart and I'm an optimist that it's all going to work out."
Jackson said he's not planning on being in the arena when the two eventually meet, and joked that he'd be drowning his sorrows in water because he doesn't drink. For Jackson, this is his opinion on teammates fighting other teammates, and though he sees why the fans and the UFC want to see the fight, it's not something he wants to be a part of.
"How would you feel if your brother was going to fight your brother?" Jackson asked. "Put it on yourself. If everyone was asking '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.' That's just me, though.•
"The UFC wants what it wants and the fans want what they want, I'm happy being an unimportant person, so that's just my opinion. I can't win that one so I'm not going to play."
It's rumored that he'll be starting a new gym of his own with•JZ Calvacante, Jorge Santiago and the Villefort brothers, who just recently split from ATT.