ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 16: Fighter Rashad Evans speaks during a press conference promoting UFC 145: Jones v Evans at Philips Arena on February 16, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Rashad Evans likely knows UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones as well as anyone in the UFC. The two men are former training partners and opponents, and it would be very easy for Rashad to jump all over Jones in the wake of the UFC 151 debacle. Surprisingly, in an interview with Pro MMA Radio, Rashad was open and honest and held back from taking needless shots at the man that defeated him at UFC 145. First, he discusses why Jones should have taken the bout with Chael Sonnen (transcribed by MMA Mania):
"You have a tremendous responsibility as the champion. You are the champion of the UFC. Not only that, you became champion of the UFC through circumstances like this. You had the opportunity to fight for someone that was injured. He stepped into a fight, after I got hurt, so he stepped in for me to fight Shogun. So, he was rewarded by the very process of somebody stepping in to take a fight. So, he owed it to the UFC to take the fight. Not only that, he owed it to all the other fighters on this card who are going to be missing paydays because of that.
And lets not talk about how the UFC has done so much to make him the face of the UFC. They sponsored him. Everything he's gotten is because of the UFC, the whole Nike endorsement and everything else like that, has all been because of the UFC. When he got in trouble a few months back, it was the UFC who stood behind him and kind of made it go away relatively quickly. So, for him to turn his back on the UFC is very hard to believe, for one, but it's just disappointing. I'm sure one day, when he has the time to understand the ramifications of his decision, he's is gonna think, 'Wow. What did I really do?'"
He's completely right, and brings up some points that others have neglected to mention throughout this whole ordeal. After the jump, you can read about how Rashad doesn't wish ill upon Jones despite their storied history.
"For me, it's more of a sadness than anything. What it comes down to at the end of the day, despite the fact that me and Jon had our situations and we did part ways the way we did and we fought and I lost, I don't want to wish bad on him. I never want to wish bad on anybody like that because these are things in life that affects more than Jon Jones. It affects his family, it affects everyone that is close to him. So, to wish bad on him is to wish bad on a lot of other people that I have no problems with.
Another thing is, dimming his light doesn't make my light any brighter. So for me, I just feel bad that it has come to light, exactly what I was saying and I don't want to be like, 'Ah man, I told you so, I told you so.' I would have been happy if he made me look like a liar. For me, it's about the organization and the sport and he is an ambassador for the sport, so, when he does things like this, it affects everybody involved. If he is going to be champion, then he has to take responsibility pretty serious and know and that he is representing more than just himself with the choices that he makes."