Rashad Evans. Photo by Tracy Lee/CombatLifestyle.com.
The allure of regaining championship gold isn't enough for Rashad Evans to potentially fight his teammate in Jon Jones.
Jones agreed to replace Evans, who suffered a sprained MCL ligament in training, in a light heavyweight title fight against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua on March 19 following his win over Ryan Bader at UFC 126 on Saturday.
Both Jones and Evans have publicly stated that they would refrain from fighting each other. However, if Jones were to defeat Rua next month, Evans may even go as far as changing weight classes.
"I'm still not going to fight Jon," Evans said during ESPN's "MMA Live" broadcast following UFC 126. "I will always find something to challenge myself. I will go up to heavyweight or down to middleweight, but I will not fight Jon."
Evans started out as a professional at heavyweight, winning his first five fights and then defeating Brad Imes to win the second season of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality show before dropping to 205 lbs.
Many have also contended in the past that although Evans has been a champion at light heavyweight, his 5'11 frame would be better suited for the middleweight division.
Despite all of the commotion surrounding his injury and Jones' surprise title shot, Evans insists that he is nothing but happy for the young phenom.
"I'm happy for Jones, I think it's a great fight for him," Evans said. "I think Jones is gonna smash Rua. Training with him in practice, he's one of the best guys I've ever trained with. The level he's gotten to so fast is scary and alarming. He's one of those guys at the gym, he'll be the first one there and the last one to leave. He's hungry, he wants it, so I'm glad if it's going to be someone to step into my place, I'm glad it's him."
(HT: Fighters Only Magazine)
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