Apr 21, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Rashad Evans before fighting Jon Jones in the main event and light heavyweight title bout during UFC 145 at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans has plenty of experience with both guys fighting in the main event of UFC 152. Jon Jones is a former training partner of Evans, and the two met at UFC 145. Jones won the bout by unanimous decision. Vitor Belfort recently joined the Blackzilians to train with Rashad in the leadup to this bout. Evans was a guest on MMA Uncensored Live on Spike TV last night, and said that he has taken what he learned from his UFC 145 bout with Jones and passed it onto Belfort (transcribed by MMA Mania):
"I hit him with a few good shots, and I had a few good opportunities, in the fight, but I just wasn't able to stay at the level for the whole fight. I've been working on myself to make sure that never happens again. I let myself down, in that area -- being conditioned to fight that kind of fight and to keep the kind of pace I needed to stay at. I think that Vitor -- we train him enough to be able to fight where I wasn't able to."
If the unthinkable happens and Belfort actually defeats Jones, will Rashad fight his new teammate? He says no:
"No. I'm not gonna fight Belfort. I'll figure out a fight for me. You know, Jon Jones was saying, 'I dunno what Rashad's doing. He's coaching somebody to fight for the belt that he wants.' I do want the belt, but when you compete, and you really have a love for competing, you understand what it's really about. What's for me is for me, and what's for somebody else is for somebody else. I believe I'm gonna get mine, either way. I don't see a problem with helping somebody else become champion."
Does he think he could make 185?
"I would consider dropping to 185, but the problem is, I'm kinda heavy right now. I might have to do a practice cut to get down there before I make any commitment to fight at 185. I've never cut weight like that, not since college. And, I always told myself, I said, 'If I compete again, there's no way that I'll turn myself into what I did in college, as far as living just to cut weight and stuff like that.' If the offer is interesting enough, I'll drop down. But, if not, I'll stay at 205. It makes no sense for me to drop down to 185 to be right in the same position I'm in now at 205."
So basically, unless he got a title shot or something close, there's no point in cutting. He makes a lot of sense in that regard. As for Jones vs. Belfort, will Rashad's experiences be useful to Belfort? We'll find out tomorrow night.