Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans caught up to discuss his upcoming bout at UFC 145 against champion Jon Jones, his former teammate.
Q: Your former coach Greg Jackson said, “he really regrets not having a protocols in place for teammates to fight teammates.” What are your thoughts?
A: Let me address that statement, it can’t be further from the truth. That’s a false statement. He did have a protocol in place. In fact the protocol was in place for many years. It was in place for me to not fight Keith Jardine. It was in place for Nate Marquart to not fight Joey Villasenor. It was in place many times before, but the thing about it was, Greg Jackson didn’t follow his own protocol.
Q: Does the Blackzilian team have a protocol in place for guys to fight each other?
A: We don’t fight each other. We’re not approaching a situation that comes like that. We don’t entertain the idea of even fighting each other. It’s not going to happen. We are not going to fight each other, for no matter how much money. It’s not going to happen, we just don’t do it. Period.
Q: You haven’t sparred with Jon (Jones) in over a year. Do believe you know what Jon strengths and weakness are?
A: I really can’t say I know what his strengths and weakness are. I can only speculate what I know from last time. So that’s pretty much it. I can say I think he is going to do this or that, but it all remains to be seen.
Q: What percentage of the sport of MMA is mental vs. physical?
A: When it comes to training it’s mostly physical and there is some mental in it as well, but I would say it’s 90% (physical) – 10% (mental) during training. When it’s fight time it switches to 10% physical and 90% mental.
Q: Jon is a physical specimen but do you believe he is mentally weak?
A: I think [there are] holes in his mental game.
Q: Do you believe you are beating Jones mentally before you even get in the cage?
A: I don’t know. Everything remains to be seen. The biggest test it how he reacts when the fight starts. It’s really hard to say at this point. I would say I did get him to come out of his shell a lot more, because he tries to wear that mask a little bit more and pretend with that holier than thou attitude. But he has let a little bit come out.
Q: When you say Jon Jones is phony, what do you mean?
A: I mean not authentic.
Q: Do you see in any scenario, you knocking Jon out or winning by TKO?
A: (Chuckle) I would love to win by TKO (chuckle again). I’m going to differently try and swing and make that happen, but it all remains to be seen. Hopefully I will be able to get him and take him out like that, but I’m going to be patient and go wherever the fight takes me.
Q: Do you ever see you guys being friends again or has that friendship passed?
A: I think that friendship is passed, but you never know what could happen in the future. Because life is long and you never know what can happen.