Rashad Evans wants to concentrate on recovering from his own injuries instead of focusing on the UFC 178 match-up between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.
First up, getting healthy and returning to the Octagon is ‘Suga’s’ top priority. He will do that. As he told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s The MMA Hour, he suspects early 2015 is when he’ll finally be able to get off the sidelines.
“I want to return in February,” Evans said on Monday’s The MMA Hour. “That’s just me giving myself enough time to make sure that I feel comfortable getting back in there because I know when I get back in there, there’s nothing but tough guys in my way. I’m definitely going to have a tough fight coming back. I want to be ready for that.”
While there has been a lot of speculation about him returning for another rematch with Jones, speculation has increased about Evans returning against someone like Daniel Cormier or his training teammate Anthony Johnson who scored a decisive victory over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira on Saturday. If it was up to him, ‘Suga would take on Glover Teixeira.
“I was thinking like that earlier and all like, ‘It’d be fun to fight Glover [Teixeira] or whoever’, but honestly speaking, the way things are shaping up right now in my weight class, whoever I fight is going to be an interesting match up because I’ve got a lot to prove coming back from an injury and trying to make that push for the title,” he confessed. “Whoever they have up there, whoever is ready for me, whoever they’re going to put me up against, I’m ready for whatever.”
With that said, Evans said that he would not step inside the cage with ‘Rumble.’.
“We fight all the time,” he said of training with Johnson. “We fight more than the UFC can pay us, I’ll tell you that. We fight every single day. We’re each other’s number one training partners. So, would I fight him professionally? No, I wouldn’t. I don’t need to fight him. We feed off each other in a lot of different ways and I can’t fight him.
Before he could even be pressed about the story sounding similar to his initial refusal to take on Jon Jones, Evans immediately addressed the comparison.
“And you’re like, ‘Oh my god, we’ve heard this before,'” Evans said, referencing his well-publicized unwillingness to fight one-time teammate Jon Jones. “I believe with the relationship that Anthony and I have, that if that bridge ever needed to get crossed, we’ll find a way to handle it in a different way than I did the first time.”
When asked about whether he would help train either Jones or join Daniel Cormier’s all-star team of backers, Evans was not coy and said that while he wouldn’t train with either, it would be hard for him not to root for DC.
“DC’s my brother, man. DC’s my guy, so I think it goes without saying, but if I’m not speaking on emotion, not speaking on any kind of personal relationship between the two of them, I would say it’s a really hard one for me to call,” he said.
His friendship with the challenger also would prevent Evans from aiding the champion.
“I couldn’t do it. Like I said, I have no problem with Jon, but at the same time, there’s a couple of factors in the way. One, I have an outstanding relationship with DC. I’ve known DC since college and the beginning of his career and everything else like that. I can’t see myself giving away any kind of inside information on DC,” he said.
“I couldn’t give away game plans or what I would do and it’s just because, not only that, we all may compete against each other. I would love a chance to get to fight Jon again. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a fighter and a champion and what he’s done for the last few years. I definitely would like to get a crack at him again. I’m sure DC and I might cross paths as well in the cage again, too.”
Tags: daniel cormier, jon jones, Mixed Martial Arts, Rashad Evans