|Jon "Bones" Jones says he's "eliminated all possibilities" of Suga Rashad Evans breaking him mentally at UFC 145 on April 21. (STAN BEHAL/QMI Agency)
For UFC champ Jon "Bones" Jones, the key to beating former training mate "Suga" Rashad Evans comes with large amounts of discomfort.
"Rashad talks about the time he held me down in practice and how he was getting me to break mentally," Jones told the Sun.
"I've eliminated all possibilities of that happening. I have my older brother here, I have Travis Brown here and I have a whole bunch of heavyweights that are a lot more powerful and big than Rashad and I'm having these guys hold me down in practice and try their hardest to break me mentally. Basically, I'm fighting from the worst position he could put me in and if he's banking on breaking me mentally, he's going to have a rude awakening when he realizes that's just not going to happen."
The two trained together at Greg Jackson's now-famous camp in New Mexico.
Rashad was a seasoned vet when the gangly Jones first showed up and Evans has played on the newcomer's insecurities and naivety in the build-up to their title fight at UFC 145 on April 21.
"Rashad ceases to remember my work ethic," said Jones, who is 15-1 as a pro.
"He's talking about a fighter that in training in 2010 he used to beat. In 2011, I wasn't the same fighter and I was starting to beat him. And with that same work ethic in 2012, you're going to see I'm not that same kid he held down in practice."
When an injured Evans (17-1-1) was unable to take a UFC 128 title fight against then-champ Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua last March, Jones was tapped for the fight and defeated Rua to take the belt.
A collision course between Evans and Jones -- Evans was next in line for Jones's title shot -- forced Evans to leave the Jackson camp and the bad blood between the two has been brewing ever since.
"I love that he talks so much crap because the more crap he talks, the sillier he's going to look when he loses that fight," said Jones, who at 23 became the UFC's youngest champ a year ago.
Jones said that he doesn't derive any extra motivation from Evans' constant barrage of insults.
"Rashad's just a pawn in this game that I'm playing. Nothing more," said Jones.
"My family is my main motivator. There's a verse in the Bible says, 'What is it for a man to gain the whole world to lose his soul.' My family is my soul and I can have everything in the world and if I have no one to share it with or to take care of, I'd be doing it without a purpose. My family is my purpose. To see them happy and have a happy future is my passion and it's the reason why I fight."
The spiritual fighter also said he hasn't fallen victim to the spoils of fame and money.
"The biggest thing I've done to spoil myself is to take care of my family," said the father of three young girls.
"When I come home, the kids have toys and it's clean and they have their own little beds and little matching outfits. That's spoiling myself as a man. To take care of my family."