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Jon Jones squashes one beef while another intensifies

Jon “Bones” Jones has had his fair share of enemies. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he holds grudges for an extended period of time. Before he was involved in a heated war of words with current rival Daniel Cormier, Jones had a public feud with Rashad Evans. The former training partners’ friendship went south when Jones leapfrogged Evans for a shot at the UFC light heavyweight championship in 2011 after an injury prevented Evans from facing Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

Jon Jones once had a serious beef with Rashad Evans.Jones would win the title, but Evans split from the Jackson-Wink MMA Academy and engaged in a strenuous feud that would extend into 2012 when the pair finally met at UFC 145. Jones retained his title by unanimous decision and the two fighters would head down drastically different paths. Evans has since lost four of his past six fights with his most recent loss coming by way of brutal first-round knockout at the hands of Glover Teixeira at UFC on Fox.

Although Jones has been known to pour salt in the wounds of his enemies, he took no joy in watching Evans get knocked out.

“I actually felt really bad for him,” Jones tweeted about his former friend-turned-foe when asked what he thought about Evans being stopped. “I’m sure he trained really hard for that fight.”

Evans took the loss hard and said he was embarrassed with his performance during the post-fight press conference. But Jones found it fitting to send words of encouragement to the man who helped him during his early years with the UFC.

“In my eyes you'll always be a legend of the sport, you're a great champion and always will be,” Jones said in an Instagram post, that he would later delete in true Jon Jones fashion. “Our fight records aren't what define us, it's about the journey we are courageous enough to be on. Stay in the race my brother."

Although he seemingly squashed a rivalry with one former opponent, his current feud continues to intensify.

With Jones preparing to face Ovince Saint Preux for the interim light heavyweight championship at UFC 197 on Saturday, the former champion headed to ESPN and took aim at the man who he was supposed to face for the title, Daniel Cormier.

As the UFC prepares to host its first event in his native New York in November, Jones was asked whether he would be interested in facing Cormier for the championship at Madison Square Garden. But the 28-year-old believes that Cormier is full of excuses and doesn’t expect him to accept that fight because of the perceived home-field advantage he would have in New York.

"Daniel Cormier is this guy who, he's lost to me in the past [at UFC 182], and he's a guy who instead of just accepting that I was a better fighter than him — and I am a better fighter than him — he comes up with a lot of excuses," Jones told Hannah Storm. "He's mentally reaching for answers as to why he can't beat me. To fight in my backyard in New York state, I think it would mentally be a huge disadvantage for him. I don't think he's mentally strong enough to take that type of risk."

Jones went on to question whether Cormier’s injury that kept him out of UFC 197 was legit.

"You know, it's hard to say,” the former champion said when asked if he believed that Cormier was unable to fight. “I wasn't there in the workout room with him when he got injured. But, there's been lots of rumors that he was hurt, not injured. And to drop the fight being 'hurt,' it just makes no sense.”

While one feud has been put to bed, there is clearly no signs of his current rivalry cooling down anytime soon.


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