If Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones had his choice to rematch any fighter he has beat in the past, it would be former friend and training partner Rashad Evans.
The answer is simple. "Suga" is the one man since Jones captured the 205-pound title in March 2011 to make it to the final bell without being submitted or knocked out.
By no means is "Bones" pleading for another fight against Evans, but when asked who he'd take on for a second time if he had to give a past opponent another crack at his belt, the 25-year-old replied it would be Evans.
"I'd give Rashad Evans a rematch," Jones said at a Q&A session with UFC Fight Club members prior to Friday's UFC on FOX 6 weigh ins in Chicago. "So I could finish him this time."
Jones (17-1) and Evans (17-2-1) first met in a highly anticipated bout for the UFC light heavyweight championship at UFC 145 in April 2012. Jones dominated the bout, winning essentially every round en route to a unanimous decision victory on the judge's scorecards.
While Jones was impressive in the fight, landing a number of standing elbow strikes rarely seen before in mixed martial arts (MMA), the champion later admitted he was not his best that night and lacked the "killer instinct" that has led him to 14 finishes out of his 17 professional victories.
"With Rashad, I think a part of me saw a guy that I had sparred against, and I don't know - some of those elbows were definitely malicious, but my killer instinct was just not there for some reason." Jones said on a UFC conference call last September. "I was more focused - and I hate to say this - on just winning that fight. I'm not going to sit here and say I took it easy, but there was something in my bones that didn't allow me to really, really try to really hurt him and I think that was a small part about why I couldn't finish Rashad."
There was a lot of pressure on both Jones and Evans going into their first meeting. A tremendous amount of words had been exchanged between the two and when fight time arrived, it appeared they both had trouble pulling the trigger.
If Jones ever meets Evans inside the cage again, he won't make the same mistake twice and vows to defeat his opponent again, but this time without the help of the judges.