If there’s any question whether or not Jon Jones wants to fight Rashad Evans, those concerns have been answered.

The UFC’s reigning light heavyweight champion is currently sidelined with a tear in a ligament in his thumb, but his top challenger Evans has claimed that Jones is ducking him after originally stating he needed surgery on his hand and then a few weeks later stating he would not be going under the knife.

In the meantime, Evans booked a fight for August 6 in Philadelphia against rising light heavyweight star Phil Davis.

Jones, who is now fitted with a hard cast until mid-June, will likely be available by the end of September or into October, and he’s happy to face Evans, but he wants to give his hand time to heal and also get some time off after back-to-back fights including a short notice title bout against Maurcio ‘Shogun’ Rua in March.

The timetable for the fight to happen in August was already an issue according to Jones’ manager Malki Kawa, and they were hoping for a later date regardless of the injury to the champion’s hand.

“We were looking forward to booking a Rashad Evans fight, but we were pushing for about an October fight. Rashad was pushing for an August fight. I think the UFC wanted that fight to happen in August as well. We said to him since the beginning his hand was hurt, we couldn’t commit to an August fight, based on the timeline, he needed some time off,” Kawa told MMAWeekly Radio.

“People also forget this guy did camps back to back and fights back to back, he needed some time off.”

Jones fought 3 times in the last 8 months with bouts against Vladdy Matyushenko, Ryan Bader and the title fight against Maurcio ‘Shogun’ Rua.

Kawa states that if Evans was free right now, a bout between he and Jones would already be booked for October. Understanding that Evans isn’t free now however doesn’t change the long term goal for having the two former teammates meet in the Octagon.

“The truth is had Rashad waited till October we would take that fight,” Kawa stated. “We would love to fight him if it’s October. We’ll fight him. I can commit to an October fight today if Rashad’s willing to fight in October. The issue is Rashad needed to fight, and I respect that. He’s been out a long time and to take a chance like to wait and see if Jon Jones’ hand heals properly and correctly, it would probably be foolish on his part.”

If there’s any question however of Jones somehow beings scared of facing Evans or ducking him for the fight, his manager put that to bed right away.

“Jon Jones is one of the toughest guys I know, he fears no one. Especially not Rashad,” Kawa said. “Trust me, he wants to fight Rashad.”

The trash talk between the two former teammates has hit a fever pitch recently with apparent text message exchanges and even an impromptu meeting between Evans and Jones in a nightclub. The situation will eventually come to a head, and Jones even told UFC President Dana White that he doesn’t care if he faces Evans in a non-title fight.

That’s just how badly he wants the fight to happen.

“The animosity’s very real, Rashad is very vocal about it, he’s come at him a couple times, and Jon has basically been responding to it. He pulled him aside in a club and basically had a few words for him, and let him know he was going to do some things to him, and Rashad sat there and they spoke and had some words for each other. That’s it,” Kawa said.

“Jon told me the other day to make sure and let Dana White know and let everyone know, win or lose, whether Rashad wins or loses, he still wants to fight him. Whether it’s a non-title fight or a title fight, he wants to fight him.”

If Evans is successful in August and comes out unscathed, he will likely still get a title shot against Jones, but there’s no telling if that fight will happen before the champion faces another contender or not.


Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
Follow
@DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon a question or comment.


Follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.


view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

UFC 200: Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones 2 Full Card Preview and Predictions

  • 25 days ago
  • 20 views

The most anticipated event in a good long while, UFC 200 is packed with names in a way never seen before in UFC history. The full card is as follows: Main Card (Pay-Per-View) Daniel Cormier vs. Jon J read news >>

Jon Jones Content at 205 Pounds, Would Consider Moving Up for UFC Heavyweight Title Shot

  • 4 days ago
  • 84 views

Despite past talk about moving to heavyweight, as UFC 200 approaches, Jon Jones currently finds few compelling reasons to make the move. read news >>

VIDEO: Jon Jones Would Prefer Any Other Ref to Big John McCarthy at UFC 200

  • 3 days ago
  • 384 views

Jon Jones explains why he doesn't want Big John McCarthy refereeing his rematch with Daniel Cormier or any of his fights. read news >>

Jon Jones: Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor believed their own hype (Yahoo Sports)

  • 3 days ago
  • 153 views

From Yahoo Sports: Jones says he knows he can be beat, and that his team keeps him grounded. He doesn't think that's the case for the UFC's other two big stars. read news >>

Jon Jones: Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor believed their own hype (Yahoo Sports)

  • 3 days ago
  • 9 views

From Yahoo Sports: Jones says he knows he can be beat, and that his team keeps him grounded. He doesn't think that's the case for the UFC's other two big stars. read news >>

UFC 200 Video: Jon Jones Recounts Nightmares Before Fighting His Idol, Rampage Jackson

  • a day ago
  • 77 views

Interim UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones recounts the nightmares and some embarrassing moments he had leading up to fighting his idol, Rampage Jackson, at UFC 135. read news >>

Listen Live to the UFC 200 Media Call: Daniel Cormier, Jon Jones, Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt

  • a day ago
  • 8 views

Listen in LIVE on the UFC 200 media conference call with Daniel Cormier, Jon Jones, Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt Thursday, June 30, at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET. read news >>

UFC 200 Video: Jon Jones Plans to Fight ‘A Hell of A Lot More Often’

  • a day ago
  • 34 views

A more mature Jon Jones has emerged from a troubled past and wants to be more of a company man. He also plans to fight "a hell of a lot more often." read news >>

UFC 200 Media Call Replay: Daniel Cormier, Jon Jones, Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt

  • a day ago
  • 6 views

On Thursday, UFC 200's biggest hitters – Daniel Cormier, Jon Jones, Brock Lesnar, and Mark Hunt – fielded questions from the media. read news >>

What Advice Would Jon Jones Give His Younger Self? ‘Don’t Wreck the Bentley’

  • 10 hours ago
  • 4 views

During a UFC 200 media luncheon, Jon Jones was asked if he could go back in time and give his younger self some advice, what would it be? His answer may surprise you. read news >>