Jones-Belfort gets extra intrigue with Evans
Jon “Bones” Jones, the UFC light heavyweight champion, will see a familiar face when he looks across the ring at UFC 152 in Toronto: Rashad Evans.
Evans, the former champion, is training Jones’ opponent, Vitor Belfort, at the new Jaco Hybrid Training Center in Delray Beach, Fla., located just north of Fort Lauderdale.
And, yes, Evans will be in Belfort’s corner during the title fight on Sept. 22.
Belfort recently left his usual camp in Las Vegas and joined Evans’ “Blackzilians” team. Belfort and his wife plan to permanently relocate to South Florida.
Evans figures to have unique insight on how to beat Jones, considering he trained with him and fought against him, losing a unanimous decision at UFC 145 in Atlanta on April 21.
Evans and Jones, former friends, had a contentious build-up to their fight that included more than the usual trash-talking and name-calling. Evans left trainer Greg Jackson’s well-known camp in Arizona, where he trained alongside Jones, in a highly publicized split.
Evans made South Florida his new home and began training in Boca Raton, which is also just north of Fort Lauderdale.
The Evans-Belfort union adds another layer of drama to UFC 152, which will be at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.
Jones was scheduled to fight Dan Henderson in UFC 151 on Sept. 1, in Las Vegas. But Henderson sustained a knee injury during training — a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee — and couldn’t fight.
When Jones refused to fight Chael Sonnen, a middleweight making the move to LW, on short notice, the UFC took the unprecedented move of canceling the entire card, which incensed UFC president Dana White as well as thousands of fight fans.