The two were training together at Greg Jackson's gym in Albuquerque before Evans made the split one year ago. Jones would then go on to replace an injured Evans at UFC 128, laying claim to the light heavyweight title and adding fuel to the fire. The rivals will have something to settle when they step into the Octagon on April 21.
"It's going to be the hardest fight of his career. He already knows that coming into this fight because he competed against me before. He already felt what I have," said Evans.
But Jones is not one to back down from a challenge. The reigning champion has defended his title twice already, finishing Lyoto Machida and Quinton Jackson in stunning fashion. After commentating for Evans' recent victory over Phil Davis on Fox, he does not seem worried about his competition.
"In the last fight, I didn't see any progression whatsoever," remarked Jones. "I'm honest, I'm really honest. So it inspired me and made my really happy about what I saw. I said wow if that athlete shows up on April 21, it's going to be an interesting night."
Evans is entering the bout as a serious underdog by most oddsmakers, despite carrying only one loss on his record. He is hoping that his experience training with Jones will tip the fight in his favor.
"I've got a big advantage, just knowing what he's going to do. Just knowing the range where I need to fight him at. Just training with him and knowing what he's good at."
Range will be something Evans will have to contend with. Jones has the longest reach in the UFC and some unorthodox striking that has caused problems for even the most seasoned veterans.
Jones, on the other hand, will have to deal with Evans' powerful wrestling and heavy hands. The Michigan State alum is the clear number one contender, holding notable wins against the likes of Chuck Lidell, Forest Griffin, Quinton Jackson and Tito Ortiz. Expect fireworks when these two step in the Octagon in April.
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