Evans just couldn’t get it done Saturday night.
Squaring off with former teammate and current UFC light heavyweight
champion Jon Jones,
Evans was stifled in the UFC
145 main event, dropping a unanimous decision to “Bones” at
Philips Arena in Atlanta.
“I just think I was flat when I came out,” Evans said at the
post-fight press conference. “I had a great camp, but sometimes you
don’t feel it. There were times in the fight when I felt like I
could have done something, but I didn’t pull the trigger when I
needed to. I’ll have to go back and see what I did wrong.”
Conversely, Jones seemed to have little trouble executing,
especially in the second frame, when he battered Evans (Pictured,
file photo) with standing elbows that rocked the former
“I got out-slicked. I thought I would get him. I felt his timing
was off, and it’s never off, so I felt he was nervous,” said Evans.
“Then he started playing that hand game. When he touched me, I knew
he’d go for an elbow. I wanted to time it and take him down, but he
caught me every time.
“It was difficult. He was so long and it was just frustrating,”
Evans continued. “Whenever he hit me with something, I couldn’t let
him know how bad it hurt. He’s a talented kid, and he has gotten a
lot better, like I thought he would. I have to give him respect.
He’s a champion.”
Finding little encouragement in the standup, Evans attempted
several takedowns on his larger opponent. Unfortunately for the
Imperial Athletics representative, Jones stuffed each of his
efforts and made him pay.
“To try to take him down is pretty hard to do,” said Evans. “If I
got a shot, I would take it but wouldn’t force anything. I wasn’t
creative enough. Once, I threw an inside leg kick, and he checked
it with his knee. I couldn’t really bounce after that. I lost the
springs in my shoes.”
Evans did manage to find success with isolated shots, but the
205-pound standout could not string together his offense
consistently, a shortcoming that Evans says falls on his shoulders
“I wanted to put more pressure on him, but didn’t I want to rush
[into] those long knees,” said Evans. “I tried to attack when he
least expected, but I didn’t throw enough combinations. That was
the story of the night for me, not getting off first. I didn’t
follow up. I have no one to blame but myself.
“I started playing a game, and I knew better than to play it,” he
continued. “What threw me off was his front kick. I originally
planned to go to the body first and work my way up [to Jones’
head], but I was never able to do that.”
While obviously disappointed in the immediate hours following his
failed title bid, Evans believes it will take some time for him to
fully assess his feelings regarding both the defeat and his
“It takes a while for it to sink in. I still gotta go home and
probably cry a little bit,” said Evans. “You never know what can
happen in the future. We were friends before, but we’ll probably be
competing against each other again, so we’ll have to keep it on
Regardless of whether he is able to rekindle his friendship with
Jones, Evans is still determined to rise once again to the top of
the UFC light heavyweight ranks.
“Since I’ve gotten older, I handle setbacks better. Things can
always be worse, even when you think you’re at rock bottom,” said
Evans. “I can take that and say, ‘Even though I lost today, I can
come back and try to be champion again.’”