Nowadays it’s not surprising when Jon Jones shows an unsavory side of his personality. That would have seemed far-fetched back in 2011, when he he was the always smiling, charming, young super athlete who apprehended a mugger the day of his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship win. During the run up to his third title defense against former friend and training partner Rashad Evans, perception started to take a turn. Part of it was Evans branding Jones as “fake,” part was that Jones was painted as the bad actor in their estrangement. That began the slow descent where nobody was really surprised by things like him fleeing a car accident on foot.
So it feels appropriate that on the day Jones pleaded guilty in the hit and run incident, a new interview with Evans about Jones was published as part of a FoxSports.com article by Damon Martin. It was conducted before Jones pleaded guilty, but it’s an interesting look at the person behind Evans’ cocky public persona and how he feels about Jones, starting with this:
It’s kind of a sad situation for me honestly. My heart really goes out to Jon because despite us having our beefs and everything, I care about Jon as a person. I think when this journey’s over and said and done, I hope we can all grow as people and look back and say we had crazy years training together and fighting together.
I don’t wish the hardships that he’s going through on anybody. To have a drug problem like he had or be in a situation like he is in right now because it’s a serious thing because it tears down so many people around you that care about you. The hardest thing in the world is to watch someone you love really not be able to get themselves together and really struggle on a level so bad when it seems and it appears that they have it all.
Evans added that “You look at someone like that person has it all, but then you don’t really know what their internal struggles are like” and that “I’m sad for him,” feeling that while Jones is a rich and famous professional athlete, he’s clearly unhappy. Evans covers some other topics in the original article as well, both pertaining to Jones and himself. He returns after an almost two year layoff to fight Ryan Bader at UFC 192 this Saturday night (October 3rd).