Moments after defending the UFC light heavyweight title for the first time over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 135, champion Jon Jones reluctantly turned his attention to his next challenger: former teammate-turned-rival Rashad Evans.
“I will say this about Rashad: He does not have my number,” Jones said (via MMAjunkie). “He’s not even close to having my number. We sparred a few times, and every time we sparred, I know what could have happened. He talks about one day at practice where he held me down, and he lives that day in his head everyday. So we’ll see.”
“Rampage,” who tapped to a rear naked choke early in the fourth-round after struggling to overcome Jones’ reach, praised Jones’ performance despite his pre-fight criticism, but sees Evans as the only contender with a chance to dethrone the 24-year-old.
“Straight up – I’m keeping it real – I thought he was all hype,” Jackson said (via MMAjunkie). “The kid is tough. He’s very talented. I thought I had his number, but I take my hat off to this guy. He’s good.
“I think Rashad is basically the only one that has a chance of beating [Jones] because Rashad trained with him before, so Rashad knows,” Jackson said when asked to evaluate Jones’ future as champ. “I don’t see anybody that can beat Jones, honestly. Rashad said he’s got his number though. That’s what he say. I don’t know. I’m looking forward to seeing that fight now.”
It is not yet known when Jones and Evans will square off, as Jones will likely need some time off to let his legs heal from his numerous kicks targeted at Jackson and Evans is recovering from a hand injury.
Pictured: Jon Jones