The fight was expected after Evans defeated Phil Davis last week at UFC on Fox 2, but it wasn't official until Monday night. Evans had some concerns over his surgically repaired hand following the UFC on Fox 2 event, but doctors have cleared him and the fight with Jones is on.
"If I was fighting anybody for the belt at this point, there would be pressure, but there is added pressure in this situation because it's Jon and our whole personal situation," Evans said in an interview with Yahoo! Sports shortly after the UFC announced the fight. "I'm very happy for what he's done in this sport and what he's accomplished for himself. He's worked hard for it, but that's where the respect and admiration stops. I don't care for him too much as a person."
The UFC returns to Atlanta for the first time since September of 2008, and coincidentally that UFC 88 event was headlined by Evans as well. On that card, he knocked out Chuck Liddell to earn his first shot at the UFC Light Heavyweight Title, a shot he would take advantage of when he defeated Forrest Griffin later that year.
Penick's Analysis: The history between these two has been rehashed plenty of times on this site already, but having this fight finally confirmed can begin real anticipation for their battle. It's a good thing Evans was cleared with his hand issue, but the UFC would have been prepared with Dan Henderson ready to step into the fight if needed. For now, the two former teammates will finally square off, and it will be a huge title fight for the UFC come April 21.
[Rashad Evans art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]