Sounds like Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones may have conflicting feelings when it comes to former friend and training partner Rashad Evans.
Jones recently told Laurence Holmes (via Yahoo! Sports) he misses their friendship and the "good times" they had as training partners, something the competitive nature and "business" of their sport got in the way of.
"We trained together and we had good times, but this competition has come between our friendship, which sucks. I do miss being friends with the guy. But it's business, and he's coming after my championship. I've gotta do what I've gotta do. It might be a little awkward punching him in the face, but I'm sure the first time he swings at me, it will get reactionary. I'd like to get to a point of being cordial, but to be friends again is not necessary. There's thousands of wonderful people in the world I can meet. After all that's been said, we can just live our lives. Respect is all that's necessary for me."
Then again, this is the same fighter who told Jon Anik of Ultimate Insider that he and Evans "were never really that close" to begin with and never became like "brothers," a term frequently heard among training partners at Jackson's MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Was the champ being sincere during a moment of clarity? Or trying to cast himself in a different light?
Jones also referred to Evans as a "jealous snake" who revealed his "envy" after the 205-pound title changed hands at UFC 128 back in March 2011.
Whether or not any sort of mutual respect or (gasp) friendship can be re-established all depends on the outcome of UFC 145, booked for April 21, 2012, at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
That's when the Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans grudge match takes place and either cements the legacy of "Bones," or starts a new one for "Suga."
Who will you be rooting for?