Jon Jones and Rashad Evans square off, photo via UFC.com
UFC president Dana White said "Rashad (Evans) is definitely next in line" on MMA Live and with Jon Jones becoming the new UFC light heavyweight champion, Rashad Evans has accepted the fight. Rashad Evans stepped in the cage after Jones's win Saturday night and shook the hand of the new world champ.
"Well, I guess you should never say never, right?" Rashad Evans said. "We train together, but he’s got that strap, and I have to go after it."
"We are teammates, and it sucks that we’re going to have to do this, but this is my dream," Jon Jones said. "This is everything I believe in. I have to do exactly what I have to do."
Evans was originally scheduled to fight Mauricio Rua at UFC 128 but had to pull out shortly before UFC 126 in early February due to a knee injury. Jones, his teammate, stepped in after beating Ryan Bader and filled in for Evans. The move was a big one for Jones, who stopped Rua in the third round with strikes, dominating the entire fight.
Evans is a former light-heavyweight champion, having defeated Forrest Griffin for the title at UFC 92 in December 2008. He lost the title to Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 but earned his title shot with a decision win over Quinton Jackson last May at UFC 114.