MMA Fighting's Luke Thomas is in Atlanta for UFC 145, and he was able to snag separate interviews with famed coach Greg Jackson and one half of the UFC 145 main event, Rashad Evans. Evans started off by pointing out how much shorter he is than Luke, but quickly got down to business when it came to talking about his UFC light heavyweight title bout with Jon Jones. Here's what he had to say about the differences between Imperial Athletics (his current team, also known as the Blackzillians), and his old camp at Jackson's MMA:
"I was just correcting for more coaching. No matter how great it was at Albuquerque, we didn't have a lot of coaching. You know, Greg was there and he did the best that he could, and Winkeljohn was there, but we didn't have a really, really in-depth jiu-jitsu coach and stuff like that. You know, Greg specializes in jiu-jitsu but he's more like an MMA-type coach, all-round. At the gym in Boca, we bring everything together. We have a great jiu-jitsu coach, we have a striking coach, have a great wrestling coach, and we even have a great judo coach. We have all different facets of the game, and I think that's what's gonna bring our athletes along better because we're getting that one-on-one attention with these great coaches."
Here's the full video with Rashad. You can catch more quotes from the Rashad interview after the jump, along with quotes and video of Luke's interview with Greg Jackson.
Rashad discussed his divorce, and how it has affected his mindset going into this bout:
Rashad: "I've been going through my situation for a while, you know, I just started speaking about it publicly. Mentally, I'm ready. I've dealt with that situation, so I'm kinda cool. All my other fights, it's been worse than this."
Luke: It was worse in other fights?
Rashad: "Aww man, shit. Yeah, a lot worse in other fights. So, this is nothing. I'm in the cool now."
He also discussed the idea that a win over Jones might validate his split from Jackson's and all the stuff he's been through since then:
"I really haven't thought about all that. I was just thinking about going in there and winning the fight. I don't want to put that much pressure on myself. I don't want to put that much pressure on myself for a reason, cuz it's like, I don't wanna say 'this symbolizes this', 'this symbolizes that' because that's more extra weight that I have to carry on myself. I'ma go out there and fight from the bottom of my heart, and whatever happens happens. I believe I'm going to be victorious in the fight, but whatever that validates, whatever comes off that is great, but for me, I'm just looking to go in there and compete and have a good time doin' it."
In Luke's interview with Greg Jackson, the coach gave his assessment of the wrestling in the Jones vs. Evans bout:
"Well it's MMA wrestling, both of them, but I believe there are some similarities and some differences. But I think it's mostly the geometry of their body types that allow them or disallow them to do certain techniques. Rashad shoots in very well because he's a little shorter, Jon likes footsweeps and stuff because he's a little taller."
And here is the full video of the Jackson interview: