I recently did an interview with former UFC light heavyweight champion "Suga" Rashad Evans on my radio show, MMA Nation on 106.7 The Fan. Evans was originally slated to headline UFC 128, but was forced to pull out due to knee injury. He came close to signing a rematch deal to face Quinton Jackson at UFC 130, but that, too, fell through.
I had Evans on the show to give listeners an update on the state of his recovery as well as what the real story was with him not fighting Rampage. More importantly, I wanted to press him on eventually fighting teammates, something that appears increasingly likely out of Greg Jackson's camp. When the two top light heavyweights were Keith Jardine and Rashad Evans, the distance between them in contendership made their rematch (they first fought on season two of "The Ultimate Fighter") a non-issue. Now with Evans and Jones at the top, it's a very real possibility.
Evans made an interesting counterpoint I hadn't considered much, namely, the economics of MMA fight camps. Whereas Brock Lesnar has the ability to pay to have a camp built for him and boxers get individual trainer attention, MMA fighters generally don't get that kind of support. Whether due to tradition or finances, MMA fighters have to "share" camps in order to get the best training possible. If one fighter has to leave a camp temporarily because they can no longer share, doesn't that put one of them at a disadvantage? It's not a bad argument.
We also get into his predictions for UFC 128 and what the ceiling is on the possibilities for Jon Jones. We delve a little bit into the training of Andrei Arlovski.
Rashad Evans on:
- 1:23 Someone asking him to sign a photo of him getting knocked out by Lyoto Machida
- 3:20 His knee recovery, still stiff, wearing a light knee brace
- 4:08 Hoping to return in June/July
- 5:37 The UFC not wanting to do Rampage vs. Rashad 2
- 6:17 Rampage's talent and how he looked better in the Machida fight
- 7:32 Why he waited for the title shot and turned down a fight against Little Nog
- 9:31 One issue with fighting Jon Jones, splitting training camps
- 12:25 Jon Jones being a beast in training, even better during fights
- 13:02 Jon Jones smashing Shogun Rua
- 13:47 Jon Jones getting his butt kicked in practice, having up and down days
- 16:32 Andrei Arlovski still having the competitive edge, trained very hard
- 18:16 Staying at Light Heavyweight
- 19:14 Greg Jackson treating every fighter as family, being very smart