That didn't take long. All that had to happen was a UFC pecking order and two fighters from the same camp both at the top of their division. Keith Jardine and Rashad Evans have long been teammates in the same division, but never had to worry about fighting one another (at least post seas on two of 'The Ultimate Fighter') because they never occupied the same space in the hierarachy. Jon Jones and Evans don't have that luxury.
The date has not been announced. There is no venue. We don't know which UFC event it will be. But for the first time, meaningfully, in UFC history, high-level teammates will fight each other. As we saw tonight, former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans was promised the winner of Mauricio Rua vs. Jon Jones. Jones, winning easily, now has to face his teammate.
The acknowledgment of the fight by UFC commentator Joe Rogan was icy, to put it mildly. Neither fighter seemed particularly pleased with the predicament. This moment is bigger than most realize. Just two months ago both swore they'd never fight one another. Coach Greg Jackson says he wants no part of it. But now they essentially have no choice. Evans is unwilling to move down to middleweight. Jones, surely, will not abdicate his title. They must face one another, not because of artificial pressure, but because they are on a natural collision course.
This fight will break the ice for teammate vs. teammate debates in mixed martial arts. It's not that this fight will open the flood gates to teammates (and really, we use that term so loosely) fighting one another without regard for concern. Conditions will be placed how and when these battles happen. But the prohibitive stance against them from here on out will fade.
Teammates will fight teammates. It won't be often and making it happen won't be easy. But the era when they could avoid each other in the same division is over. It ended at UFC 128. You can thank Rashad Evans' knee and Jon Jones for that paradigm shift.