Former opponent and one-time UFC light heavyweight champion, Rashad Evans has predicted even more success for former two-time division kingpin, Jon Jones upon his eventual move to the organization’s heavyweight division — labelling the pound-for-pound #1 as a “phenomenal athlete“””.
Evans, who himself is set to make a return to combat sports for the first time since his UFC 225 knockout loss to former title challenger, Anthony Smith back in June of 2018, has called for matchups against the likes of YouTuber, Logan Paul, as well as former boxing world champion, Roy Jones Jr.
A one-time opponent of Albuquerque-based look-see-do fighter, Jones, Evans challenged his former teammate for the undisputed light heavyweight throne back in April 2012 at UFC 145 — where he dropped a unanimous decision loss to the then-titleholder.
With Jones’ move to the heavyweight ranks still yet to come as the promotion recently introduced an interim title to the fray which is to be contested for at UFC 265 in August between Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane — a potential title bout between Francis Ngannou and Jones hit the rocks amid negotiation woes between the UFC and the latter.
However, whenever Jones finally makes his long-awaited leap to the heavyweight ranks of the UFC, past-foe, Evans predicts the Rochester native will find continued success a division higher.
“Jon (Jones) moving up (to heavyweight), it’s going to be a continuation of the legacy of Jon Jones,” Evans told TMZ recently. “Jon Jones is a phenomenal athlete. He’s a phenomenal fighter and his IQ inside the Octagon, it can’t be surpassed by anybody. So I expect him to carry that to the heavyweight division.“
“The things that I think may give him some problems is the fact that these guys are big and they do hit harder,” Evans continued. “But for the most part, this is a great Jon Jones. Jon Jones can make an adjustment to anything.“
A former UFC light heavyweight champion himself, Evans lifted the crown back in December 2008 at UFC 92 — where he finished then titleholder, Forest Griffin with third round strikes.
The Ultimate Fighter 2 tournament winner has also lodged other notable career triumphs against the likes of Stephen Bonnar, Sean Salmon, Michael Bisping, Chuck Liddell, Thiago Silva, Quinton Jackson, Tito Ortiz, Phil Davis, Dan Henderson, and, Chael Sonnen.