Photo by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting.
Saturday's UFC 145 Light Heavyweight title fight between champ Jon Jones and challenger Rashad Evans isn't just the biggest MMA fight so far this year, it's also a deeply personal grudge match. Much of that tension has arisen because of their shared experience training under coach Greg Jackson in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Evans trained under Jackson from 2005 until last year when he left the camp in a huff over Jon Jones' ascension to the top of the UFC heap and Jones' stated willingness to fight Evans. Now Greg Jackson has agreed to corner Jones.
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"I have the coaches that taught him how to fight. They taught him the guard passes he uses, the ground-and-pound system that he uses, the punches that he used to throw and the combinations. I mean, it almost seems not fair sometimes," Jones told MMA Fighting.
Jones spoke to MMA Fighting's Ben Fowlkes about the advantage he has working with the men who coached Evans for more than 5 years. Those quotes are after the jump...
SBN coverage of UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans
"We know his psychology. We know what makes him tired. We know everything about him. He's in trouble.
"What people don't realize is, Rashad says, ‘I trained with Jon and I have his number.' But that's a crazy thing for him to say, because I trained with him, and one thing all my fans know is that I'm not just a good fighter, I'm also a smart fighter. If he truly believes that I don't remember every training practice we ever had, what I landed and what I did well against him, he surely must remember that. He should be nervous. I've done great against fighters I've never trained with before. I mean, I fought [Lyoto] Machida when I'd never fought a karate fighter before, and I beat him in a karate match. So Rashad thinking that the time we spent together wasn't extremely beneficial to me, I think he's crazy," said Jones.