Rashad: Jon Jones failed his responsibility as champion

source: prommaradio.com

Jon Jones and Rashad Evans engaged in one of MMA most epic out of cage battles, following their 'divorce' and leading up to their fight at UFC 145 in which Evans, although losing, gave Jones his toughest in cage test to date.

When Jones declined a last moment fight with Chael Sonnnen, causing the collapse of UFC 151, the entire sport piled on Jones, leaving him widely hailed as "the most hated man in MMA." In a testament to his character, rather than pile on, in an interview with Pro MMA Radio, Evans offered an insighful, nuanced appraisal of his former teammate.

"It's a two part question for me," said Evans. "For one, you want to always keep it right for the fighters. It's great for the fighters to have the right to choose a fight. That is one of the liberties we do have, the option to say yes or no to a fight.

"But then on the other hand, you have a tremendous responsibility as the champion. You are the champion of the UFC. Not only that, you became champion of the UFC through circumstances like this. You had the opportunity to fight for someone that was injured. He stepped into a fight, after I got hurt, so he stepped in for me to fight Shogun. So, he was rewarded by the very process of somebody stepping in to take a fight. So, he owed it to the UFC to take the fight. Not only that, he owed it to all the other fighters on this card who are going to be missing paydays because of that.

"And lets not talk about how the UFC has done so much to make him the face of the UFC. They sponsored him. Everything he's gotten is because of the UFC, the whole Nike endorsement and everything else like that, has all been because of the UFC. When he got in trouble a few months back, it was the UFC who stood behind him and kind of made it go away relatively quickly.

"So, for him to turn his back on the UFC is very hard to believe, for one, but it's just disappointing. I'm sure one day, when he has the time to understand the ramifications of his decision, he's is gonna think, 'Wow. What did I really do?'"

"For me, it's more of a sadness than anything. What it comes down to at the end of the day, despite the fact that me and Jon had our situations and we did part ways the way we did and we fought and I lost, I don't want to wish bad on him. I never want to wish bad on anybody like that because these are things in life that affects more than Jon Jones. It affects his family, it affects everyone that is close to him. So, to wish bad on him is to wish bad on a lot of other people that I have no problems with.

"Another thing is, dimming his light doesn't make my light any brighter. So for me, I just feel bad that it has come to light, exactly what I was saying and I don't want to be like, 'Ah man, I told you so, I told you so.' I would have been happy if he made me look like a liar. For me, it's about the organization and the sport and he is an ambassador for the sport, so, when he does things like this, it affects everybody involved. If he is going to be champion, then he has to take responsibility pretty serious and know and that he is representing more than just himself with the choices that he makes."

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Recent Comments »

CindyO site profile image  

8/29/12 9:17 PM by CindyO

  So true. But I think he wouldn't pull this shit again if his life depended on it. Just not smart for ones career and I doubt he expected the backlash he has gotten. Cindy

CindyO site profile image  

8/29/12 9:15 PM by CindyO

  Um, this is my opinion on THIS thread on THIS topic and it's 100% my stance. If you want to know my thoughts about the other things you mentioned then staret a thread about it and I'll chime in:) DW says and does some dumb shit sometimes- but he's not wrong about this, IMO. And I don't work for the guy so WTF is he gonna say to me about my comments, now or later? Not a dayum thing that will matter, ask Randy. Cindy

Fly Rodder site profile image  

8/29/12 7:07 PM by Fly Rodder

Zuffa then bought Strikeforce and Henderson is back in the UFC's good graces as true representative of support.Jon Jones, barring defeat, is going into contract renegotiations as the essentially undefeated, undisputed, near GOAT at 25. That represents all the upperhand he'll ever have and it could be worth millions versus getting fucked over by Zuffa. He wasn't about to risk that on the freak chance that Sonnen grinds out a decision because just Jones didn't have the time to prepare for *him*. Give him the chance to prepare for his opponent and Jones will fight anyone.In world where fighters, including champions, have very little leverage there is ZERO reason to risk that because Zuffa said so. There's a world of difference between a $1 million a fight and $5 million a fight in a sport where a promising career can end lightening fast. Dana and Zuffa will continue to make millions every year because they have an endless supply of fighters, Jon Jones only has himself to rely on to make millions. No reason to risk that because he wasn't completely prepared.

Warzone209 site profile image  

8/29/12 6:08 PM by Warzone209

 CindyO,  JBJ will take Dana to the cleaners for trying to destroy his career with bad press when they renegociate his new contract after he destroys Vitor and Lyoto again.  I really wanna see Dana try to lowball offer JBJ on Reneg day when the MMA media is calling him the new P4P #1 because he fights 3-4 times a year.  Some Media Outlets even let Anderson Silva have it for only taking 2 fights last year and only fought 1 time this year and said he's calling it till 2013 which lead that outfit to say he is ducking weidman...That P4P#1 spot is gonan go bye bye soon for being damn near inactive and to top it off Silva said he's gonna call out GSP if he loses to condit wtf...

MisterFixit site profile image  

8/29/12 5:48 PM by MisterFixit

I think it will be an overall negative to his career long term. How much is hard to say. It depends on whether he keeps winning and whether he continues to bring in big PPV numbers for the UFC.With a couple of losses and little fan support he'll be replaced by the next greatest thing.

Damasta Shonuff site profile image  

8/29/12 5:08 PM by Damasta Shonuff

Pretty sure with all of the BULLSHIT that Dana has said and then gone back on, you dont want to be taking this stance. How many promises over the years have we heard out of Dana only to see nothing come of them. I usually dont harp on that, because I know how easy it is to say something and then have to later do exactly the opposite, but you pointing out that Jones has done that in an attempt to vilify him while ignoring that your own boss does it constantly is hypocritical at the very least. At least Jones has the excuse of being young and immature and still has a long ways to go in learning life lessons.Why dont you start showing everyone where Dana said Chael would not be talking his way into a 205 light heavyweight champion fight of the world AND THEN OFFERED CHAEL THE CHANCE A WEEK LATER.

Naderhood site profile image  

8/29/12 9:23 AM by Naderhood

 You're not........no. I refuse to believe you are this stupid.

rjambi site profile image  

8/29/12 9:22 AM by rjambi

Well said Mr. Evans. JJ is a disgrace.

MMAfanWA site profile image  

8/29/12 9:12 AM by MMAfanWA

The UFC stuffed up. They scheduled an entire PPV around one fight. If a fighter gets injured a week out from the fight, it gets rescheduled. They don't accept a fight with a completely different opponent with a few days left to train. Maybe if the injury had come to light a month out, things would have been different. Jon's an amazing fighter, he's under immense pressure and he seems like a young guy who works hard and keeps it civil. Just because he said he wouldn't let the UFC down, doesn't mean he should be held to ransom/thrown under the bus for not taking a farcical, 11th hour fight. I think it will benefit him in the long-term because he showed backbone by standing up to Dana and Jo and making the right decision. MMA > UFC. Now please, stop repeating yourself and move on.

CindyO site profile image  

8/29/12 8:53 AM by CindyO

  *just gonna leave this here* “I’m glad the UFC wanted to work with me, as well. I think they trust that I will never make them look bad. You never have to worry about me getting a DWI or doing something crazy. I think I’m a good company guy. “The UFC asks me to do anything and I always do it. I never tell them ‘no.’ I think I’ve had to do more marketing than any other fighter because I say no to absolutely nothing. I don’t think most champs are like that.” Hmmm... maybe stuff like this is why they thought they could trust Jon wouldn't make them look bad by refusing to fight an alternate so the show could go on, especially since the opponent hadn't been training and recently suffered the biggest loss (IHO) of his career. Maybe that's what happens when a fighter begins to fancy himself a businessman. But  a businessman would have never bailed on the opportunity to rape the bank (no way would Henderson's POV numbers be higher than Sonnen's) financially, personally and professionally, especially if he is also the elite athlete and champ his money is being double-downed on. Word of such a bout would have spread like wildfire and they could have put this thing together just about overnight and be sold out within a day! Big bonuses would have been handed out, 20 guys (plus crew) would have gotten a payday, fighters would have added to their highlight reels and closed new deals if they performed well, and fans would have been treated to a Rocky style fight after a week of entertaining smack-talking between Sonnen and Jones! Well... if Jones hadn't said no, of course (even though the company man claimed "I say no to absolutely nothing. I don’t think most champs are like that.”). Hard to assess the true fallout yet but do you think his decision will be of benefit or harm to his career, short and long term? Thanks. Cindy