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Evans, Jones put war of words aside for UFC 145

ATLANTA -- The verbal jabs Rashad Evans and Jon Jones made at each other during a press conference two months ago were cornered on Wednesday.

You could hardly tell the former friends turned enemies once had a war of words with each other. They were cordial toward each other during the press conference for UFC 145 at Park Tavern.

"I'm sick of talking about it," Evans said. "I just want to get to the fight."

Added Jones: "I'm not going to sit here and disrespect Rashad and call him a whiner."

Jones (15-1) will defend his light heavyweight title against Evans (22-1-1) in the main event of Saturday's UFC 145 at Philips Arena.

It's been two and a half years since the UFC was last in Atlanta for UFC 88. In the main event, Evans made a stunning knockout of Chuck Liddell and later went on to win the light heavyweight title. The former champ gets another shot on Saturday against Jones.

"It would be huge. It would show people I am as good as my record shows and that I show up to fight," Evans said.

When Evans last fought in Atlanta it was 2008 and he was training with Jones under Greg Jackson. A lot has happened since then. Evans left the team last year after Jones won the light heavyweight title. Since then a rivalry has brewed between the once former friends.

"It's truly not personal with me," Jones said. "There's been things that have been personal. The pre-fight hype has nothing to do with the game."

The war of words stems from when Evans and Jones started training with each other. They both vowed to never fight each other in the Octagon.

After Evans lost the light heavyweight title in 2009, he worked his way into title contention but got injured. With Evans out, the UFC gave Jones the title shot against Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua. Jones won by knockout to become the youngest UFC champion at 23 years old and Evans left the team causing the rivalry to begin.

"I consider being the best, it's my passion," Jones said.

Since then the two have taken verbal shots at each other during interviews. It escalated last May when the two nearly came to blows at a Las Vegas night club and had to be separated.

For the last two months they've had to answer questions about their former friendship and where they stand now with each other. It's been exhausting telling the same story over and over. That's why there was cheap shots taken towards each other, just respect for when they face each other in the Octagon.

"With all of this talking, it has almost been therapeutic for everybody," Jones said. "I think this fight will be like the last counseling session."

In addition to the light heavyweight title fight, the UFC 145 card features 10 more bouts. The five preliminary fights will be shown on FX and the main event will air on Pay-Per-View. Those fights include Mark Bocek vs. John Alessio, Mark Hominik vs. Eddie Yagin, Miguel Angel Torres vs. Michael McDonald, Brendan Schaub vs. Ben Rothwell and Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills.