UFC Light Heavyweight champion Rashad Evans was the first UFC champion out of Jackson's MMA. When a young Jon Jones wanted to join the team, Evans okayed it, with the provision that Jones would not challenge him for the title. Then through a convoluted set of circumstances Jones got the title, and it was Evans who was the challenger. Evans did not feel adequate support from Jackson's, and so 'divorced' the team, going on to co-found the Blackzilians.
Jones and Evans then engaged in one of MMA's most epic out of cage battles, leading up to their 2012 fight at UFC 145. Jones won, but Evans gave him his hardest fight up until that point.
At the UFC 172 weigh ins on Friday, Jones was of course there as the main event, and Evans was there to support fellow Blackzilian Anthony Johnson, who fights Phil Davis on the main card.
Ryan Loco captured the moment:
Evans commented warmly, via Instagram.
It's been a long time since @jonnybones and myself got a chance to catch up. I'm glad we did! If you are blessed enough, life has a way of bringing you around again. Good luck tomorrow @jonnybones! Living the blessed life! #ufc172
?Jones replied affirmatively, via Twitter.
Jon Jones @Jonnybones
All respect @SugaRashadEvans that was great.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani, Jones expanded.
"I saw Rashad and I honestly missed him," said Jones. "It was weird. I just missed him. The guy was definitely like a role model in a way when I first started off and I'll always remember looking up to him.
"Even though we have fought, it is so long in the past now and I legitimately missed him."
Evans still aims for one more title shot, but who that would even be against will have to wait until Saturday night.
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