To refresh, Jones was left without an opponent eight days before UFC 151 when Dan Henderson withdrew from the event with a knee injury. Chael Sonnen then stepped up on short notice to fight Jones, but the champ declined the fight and opted not to fight on the Sept. 1 fight card, forcing the UFC to cancel an event for the first time in history.
Essentially all of the blame for the cancellation of the event was put on Jones’ shoulders; at first he took all the shots given to him, saying he was “carrying the cross for my company’s decision”, however as time went on Jones began to change his tune. The champ changed his mind, carrying the cross for the company turned into Jones saying the UFC didn’t put together a good enough card, one that would be able to go on without him fighting, and that he doesn’t “owe anyone anything” for the event being canceled.
The actions of Jones rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, and one of those people is the man who has never been weary of criticizing Jones, former UFC light heavyweight champion Evans.
“I think he’s a fool (for how he handled the UFC 151 situation), to be honest. And that’s just said simply, he’s a fool.” Evans told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour on MMAFighting.com. “When you have an organization like the UFC that made him what he is and could have took him farther and took him pretty far in the short period that he was in, and for him to turn his back on the organization is a very silly thing to do,”
“I mean he’s trying to say things like ‘The UFC has done bad this and done bad that’, but, I mean, I don’t know, the UFC has made him pretty much what he is and gave him tremendous opportunity and he made a big mistake by doing what he did.”
In an interview with Helwani in the days after UFC 151 was canceled, Jones explained he wouldn’t have taken any fight on short notice unless it was Evans because “Suga” has a similar style to scheduled opponent, Dan Henderson. Evans said he was never offered the short-notice fight against Jones, but if he had been, he would have tried his absolute best to step up for the organization.
“At the time I was like 235, it would have been a pretty hard cut for me to make it to 205.” Evans said. “But if the UFC was like ‘listen, if you can make the weight we’ll work with you’, then I would have did it to save the card because it’s a lot of money that was lost in this whole situation and it doesn’t make – it hurts the fighters too the fighters on the card. The reason why Jon did it and his whole reasoning is just, it makes no sense.
“It makes no sense at all.”
The 32-year-old Evans is notably passionate about his opinions of Jones. As a former friend and training partner of the young champion, Evans provided Jones with some sage career advice, saying the 25-year-old is “disillusioned” about his career path.
“I think right now he really needs to sort out some things in his life,” Evans said of Jones. “As far as his management situation and just finding some people on his team who are really just going to give him a true idea, true perspective of where he’s coming from because I think right now he’s a little disillusioned, and I think disillusion can cause a lot of harm to you.”
Exactly what kind of harm Evans is talking about is unknown. Even though the two have already fought and Evans was handily beaten, the former light heavyweight champion still has no problem voicing his opinions about Jones – positive or negative.