• UFC 145

Hendo says Evans will take Jones down, Jones responds

ESPN staff
April 18, 2012
Jon Jones is aiming for greatness © UFC

Dan Henderson recently made the suggestion to ESPN that Jon Jones will "definitely" be taken down by Rashad Evans at some point in Saturday's UFC 145 title showdown, and at Wednesday's press conference Jones responded to the claim.

Showing once again that MMA is one of the fastest-moving sports in the world, the UFC employed the use of Twitter to attract questions from the international media on Wednesday, and ESPN raised Henderson's takedown claim to the champion.

Asked if Jones disagreed with Henderson, or if he had made peace with the fact he might be taken down by Evans, the champion responded: "I've made a mental note to not be taken down. Rashad takes everybody down, but I've never been taken down, so why should I feel inferior?

"I've become totally prepared for being on my back. I'm a complete mixed martial artist, people don't realise that, and I train every area of MMA as hard as every other.

"I have absolutely no gameplan for this fight. I know my opponent's mindset. Rashad has confidence in his boxing, but I know he'll try to take me down. I have no gameplan, my gameplan is to react."

Jones and Evans were extremely amicable towards one another in Atlanta, with the champion at one point stating, "I'm not going to compete with Rashad on the dressing front, Rashad is a wonderful dresser." The bad blood that has divided the two former team-mates appeared to have subsided, although Jones insists it will still affect the fight.

"Some of the things he's said have really inspired me to achieve greatness in this fight," Jones said. "Rashad's focused so much on the storyline, about coach Greg [Jackson], about how I'm so cocky.

"Me, I don't care about the personality. I'm here to complete a mission, to defend my title. You shouldn't take too much emotion, I've been focused on tactics since I signed the contract."

Pressed on how he felt about fighting a former friend, Jones stated: "I didn't start this sport to make loads of friends in the UFC. I'm here to support my family, I'm here to fight people."

And he clearly feels Rashad has suffered as a fighter since leaving Jackson's camp, saying: "I can't say [he's] improved, but I can say [he's] different. There's things he's got away from that he used to do real well. I've seen things he didn't do well [in his last fight] that he used to.

"Malki, my manager, is close to Rashad's age and he said to me yesterday, 'Man, I just played basketball and my feet hurt'. It's more difficult to recover. I know Rashad has rib problems, knee problems, so it depends how he looks after his body."

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