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Sunday, March 20, 2011
Rashad Evans dumps longtime trainer

By Franklin McNeil
ESPN.com

No date has been set for new UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to defend his title against former training partner Rashad Evans, but one issue is clear: trainer Greg Jackson won't be in Evans' corner on fight night.

Jackson had trained both Jones and Evans. But Evans announced Sunday on Twitter that he has parted ways with his longtime Albuquerque, N.M.-based coach.

"I will never use Greg ever again," Evans wrote on Sunday. "Greg brought this situation about. He brought Jones on board a while back against my wishes [and] here we [are] today."

Jackson isn't the only trainer who works with both Jones and Evans, but the former UFC light heavyweight titleholder will likely leave the decision to those coaches.

Despite singling out Jackson, Evans was quick to say his decision will have no negative effect on their relationship. Evans also didn't express any ill will toward Jones, whom he has trained and sparred with in the past.

"I no longer will use Greg Jackson as my coach, but [we're] still cool," Evans wrote. "[Jones] fought amazing! I'm very happy [for] him."

Jones stopped Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in the third round Saturday night at UFC 128 in Newark, N.J., to capture the 205-pound title. At 23 years old, he is the youngest UFC titleholder ever.

Evans was originally scheduled to face Rua, but a knee injury he suffered while training forced him to pull out of the bout. Jones was then offered the title shot in February, immediately after a win over Ryan Bader.

Jones helped Evans prepare for Rua by mimicking the then-champion's movements during sparring sessions.

Franklin McNeil covers mixed martial arts and boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.