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Jon Jones issues statement on hand injury that forced him to withdraw from Rashad Evans fight

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Fight fans may no longer be Jonesing for an explanation as to why Rashad Evans isn't challenging for the UFC light heavyweight title now that the reigning 205-pound champion has broken his silence.

Jon Jones, fresh off a March 19 assault on former division kingpin Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, has opted for surgery to repair a torn ligament in his hand to help preserve his longterm future as a mixed martial artist.

That means the escalating feud that soured his relationship with "Suga" will now be placed in a jar on the UFC matchmaker's shelf while "Bones" gets patched up.

But that doesn't mean Evans will be getting out of Dodge without a duel. In fact, he's been paired up against Phil Davis, another wrestling phenom with a history of stepping up to accept big fights.

"Evans vs. Davis" is expected to take place at UFC 133 on Aug. 6 in Phila., PA. And it's a bout that Jones will be watching with "great interest," as he explains in a prepared statement from Authentic Sports Management:

"This is an injury that’s been recurring since I was a college wrestler, it doesn’t affect my punching or grappling, but I am taking the time and the proper measures to correct this now, so that it doesn’t happen again. I look forward to getting back to training and to my first title defense. As for Rashad, let’s see what happens with Phil Davis. I will be watching that fight with great interest."

Evans earned the number one contender status almost one year ago, defeating Quinton "Rampage" Jackson via unanimous decision in an eliminator match at UFC 114. But one month later, then-champion Mauricio Rua sustained another injury while training, postponing the match up indefinitely.

Rather than stay busy and rematch Lyoto Machida -- the man who separated him from consciousness and took his belt in 2009 -- Evans decided to wait for his shot against the Brazilian.

It was eventually set for UFC 128 on March 19, 2011. But Evans tweaked his knee several weeks prior to the event, opening the door for his "friend" and training partner Jon Jones to challenge "Shogun" instead.

The rest, as they say, is history.

And so is "Jones vs. Evans" and the dreaded "teammate vs. teammate" scenario that's been making headlines ever since "Suga" defected from Greg Jackson's camp after a falling out with Jones in New Mexico.

Evans may not get the chance to settle that score until 2012, if at all. He still has to get past Phil Davis later this summer. If he doesn't, he'll likely be facing the loser of "Rampage" Jackson vs. Matt Hamill while Davis pursues a "Wonderful" opportunity as the new number one contender.

Any Maniacs want to take a guess as to how this thing plays out?

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