MANILA, Philippines – Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light-heavyweight champion “Suga” Rashad Evans is willing to give some advice to his former friend and sparring partner, reigning title-holder Jon “Bones” Jones.
“If he ever needs me for advice or anything like that, I’ll be there to talk to him and to help him out if he needs it,” Evans said, as quoted by ESPN.
Jones was widely criticized by UFC fans when he turned down a fight against Chael Sonnen on short notice, eventually leading to the cancellation of the entire UFC 151 fight card.
Evans, who lost to Jones at UFC 145, believes the champion needs to take some time to fix the issues hounding his life and his team.
“I think right now, he needs to really sort out some things in his life,” Evans said. “Find some people on his team who are really going to give a true idea and true perspective of where he’s really coming from.”
“Sometimes, I think he’s a little bit disillusioned. I think disillusion can cause a lot of harm to you,” he added.
Evans and Jones exchanged sharp words leading up to their UFC 145 clash, but Evans has since maintained a low profile and has held back from criticizing Jones.
With the fall-out from UFC 151, however, Evans said Jones “needs to be who he truly is.”
“But being who he truly is, is not a guy who is disliked,” he said. “He can actually be a good person, but I think him slipping back and forth between the person who he thinks people want him to be and who he truly is has really messed him up.”
“He doesn’t know where to come from now. He doesn’t know who to be. So he’s trying to balance out who he should really be,” Evans added.
“When he first came in, he was trying to be something a little too much of what he really wasn’t.”
Evans will face off against Jones again soon, as he is helping out Vitor Belfort in his training camp. Belfort will challenge Jones for the light-heavyweight title at UFC 152.
Despite this, Evans insists he is willing to help out his former sparring partner and hopes Jones will return the favor as well.
“I don’t know everything there is to know about life, either, so I’m sure if there’s something I have a problem in life, I’m sure I can learn from him, too,” he said.