The UFC officially confirmed today that light heavyweight champ Jon Jones will defend his title against former teammate Rashad Evans at UFC 145 in Atlanta, Georgia on April 21, 2012. This puts Jones' coach Greg Jackson in a somewhat awkward position as Evans was a long-time member of Jackson's MMA team and Jackson has often promised he would corner neither Jones nor Evans against each other.
Jackson is now indicating that he might be a little more flexible on the matter now based on his appearance on the Savage Dog Show:
"I've got to sit down and make my decision and see what I feel is best for the team. Not for me, because I have my own personal feelings where I never want to ever do that," Jackson said. "I'm going back and forth now because I have to think about what it means to be on a team. Are we just a collection of friends that train together? For me, it's much more than that. It means something to be on this team and it means something to have teammates.
"Rashad kind of left that. I don't know, I'm leaning toward cornering Jon right now," he added. "Just because, am I selfish, am I going to make this about me? Or am I gonna make this about the team? I can't be self-centered. Even though it's something that I don't want to do, it might end up that way.
"I still consider him a friend. Right now he's really angry, and he's saying a lot of negative things. I don't want much to do with that, so I'm just kind of keeping my distance, so that's where we're at."
Jackson also spoke to USA TODAY about the Jones/Evans situation:
Sergio Non: Is there any hope on your part that once you finally get past this grudge match between the two of them that you might be able to repair your relationship with Rashad?
Jackson: "I sure hope so. Right now -- I haven't talked to him much -- he's very negative and very angry. Part of that's my fault. I should have had these protocols in place before that happened and I didn't. We're all in this mess a little bit because of that.
"I mean, he didn't have react the way he did, but part of that -- so I don't want much to do with that right now, but maybe when he calms down, I certainly hope ... eventually when cooler heads prevail, we can all be friends again."
The complete UFC 145 card after the jump.
Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans, LHW Title
Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills
Brendan Schaub vs. Ben Rothwell
Mark Bocek vs. Matt Wiman
Travis Browne vs. Chad Griggs
John Makdessi vs. Anthony Njokuani
Mac Danzig vs. Efrain Escudero
Keith Wisniewski vs. Chris Clements
Maximo Blanco vs. Marcus Brimage
Miguel Torres vs. Michael McDonald
Mark Hominick vs Eddie Yagin