It seems as if Jon Jones is on the path to mending bridges. His first stop? His former friend and training partner Rashad Evans.
While promoting UFC 197, he was asked by the media if he still had a problem with his formal rival.
"I think it's safe to say my beef with Rashad is gone," Jones replied.
Their rivalry dates back four years ago. Jones and Evans trained together in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the Jaskson-Winklejohn camp. At that time, Jones was nothing more than an upstart with a great deal of potential, whereas Evans was a former champion. Evans was working his way back to the title after losing it to Lyoto Machida.
Evans and Jones were inseparable as teammates and even went as far as throwing around the term "brother."
Eventually, Jones climbed the ranks and won the UFC light heavyweight championship. That's when the relationship between him and Evans started to sour. In 2012, the two finally met in the Octagon at UFC 145. Evans was looking to take back his title and Jones wasn't ready to give it back yet. Jones dominated Evans in that fight.
"You know I won that fight when we fought so if anyone were to have hurt feelings I would imagine it would be him," Jones said of their 2012 bout. "Me and Rashad had really great moments before our drama started and you know those moments, I think me and him will both remember those good times."
It seems as if all Evans has left are "great memories." He hasn't been fairing too well in the Octagon as of late. Last weekend he was knocked out quickly in the first round by Glover Teixeira at UFC on FOX 19. The loss was tough on Evans, so tough that honest conversations have begun as to whether he will ever fight again.
Maybe the fact that Evans is having such a hard time is why Jones seems to want to mend the bridge with his former training partner. There's only so far that mending is going to go though, at least for now.
Friends might be on the table, but what about Jones and Evans training together again?
"As far as Rashad coming down to Jackson's, I think he'd be a tremendous training partner," Jones replied, "but at the same time I think he's too close to Anthony Johnson."
It's this closeness that cause Jones to hesitate mending the bridge all the way with Evans.
"I think his loyalty will always be with Anthony over me and I don't know how much I could trust him to be a training partner in the future."
Jones will fight Ovince Saint Preux tomorrow night for the interim UFC light heavyweight championship at UFC 197 in Las Vegas.