The press conference which began at 1 p.m. ET and took place the Luckie Marietta District of downtown Atlanta, the home city of the event. Attending were the headlining fighters of the evening, Jon Jones and Rashad Evans as well as UFC President Dana White.
Jones, the UFC light heavyweight champion, and Evans, the former champ, are former teammates and have been having a war of words for the past year ever since a dispute led to Evans leaving Greg Jackson's gym and moving to Imperial Athletics in Florida.
Coach Jackson, one of the best trainers and cornermen in the business, was one of the first topics discussed during the presser.
We've got Jon Jones' response about Jackson and much, much more after the jump:
Jones on Greg Jackson cornering him:
I don't expect [Greg Jackson] to be in my corner. Greg has taught me this whole thing about being an artist and being a great artist and he said, 'In order to be a great artist, you need a great coach and a great teacher. You need someone who's always giving you new paintbrushes.' That's what he'll do leading up to this fight. He's gonna give me lots of new tactics, lots of new ways of thinking and approaching the sport and then I'm gonna have the canvas on April 21st to paint a new masterpiece."
This is an emotionally charged fight, as Evans has had a post-fight staredown with "Bones" twice now after his victories only to see their bout scrapped due to injuries. With both men fully healthy and a date finally set, it appears that Jones is expecting to use his emotions as fuel in preparing for Evans.
"I think my opponent will be in my head for this fight and I want him in my head. I think my opponent getting in my head, that really brings out the best in me."
Evans, on the other hand, feels he needs to keep his emotions in check. In doing so, he'll get back to the same old rhythm he used to have when him and Jones were training together.
"There's always emotions in each fight. I am gonna have to be a little conscious of it, not get carried away with it. Me and Jon, we competed against each other before and we always bring it every time we competed even in practice. It was always like we've always been there before. I'm thinking we're gonna find our rhythm like we always do, like when he wouldn't want me to take him down and I wouldn't want him to take me down. We'd just go at it back and forth. It's gonna be the same."
As one reporter pointed out, Jones was very confident in himself during his big network analyst gig at the second UFC on FOX event following Evans' victory in a five round battle over Phil Davis. He explained why he felt confident, admitting that he can't help being honest about what he saw.
"There was this whole Rashad 2.0 thing that was getting started and in his first fight in a new camp, his body looked better, I saw some differences in his game and in the last fight, I didn't see any progression whatsoever. It inspired me. It made me really happy with what I saw. It made me think, 'Wow! If that athlete shows up on April 21st, it's gonna be an interesting night.' ... It's like you're competitor reporter is not doing his job well and you're just like, 'Oh, this is gonna be great.'"
Evans, though, got the last laugh, mocking Jones' appearance on national television and poking fun at his erratic movement and inability to sit still, even comparing him to a famous musician.
"I read body language a little bit and I studied psychology and if you see Jon and the way he was swiveling that chair, he couldn't keep still. It was like he was Stevie Wonder for a minute. He couldn't keep still. I don't know. He can say what he wants to, but he already knows what time it was. He knows it won't be an easy fight. He knows it's gonna be the hardest fight of his career. He already knows that coming into this fight because he competed against me before. He already felt what I have. He can say whatever he wants to about how I competed against somebody else. He already knows what time it is when we go together."
All in all, it was a pretty tame presser as Jones did his best to put out any fires that Evans tried to start between them. It even finished with the (we thought he was past this) no-eye contact staredown.
Who do you think is winning the war of words thus far, Maniacs?
Will it matter come April 21st?