Samstag, 14. April 2012

Jon Jones, Rashad Evans’ UFC 145 feud affects teammates and coaches, too

With the ongoing feud between former friends and training partners Rashad Evans and Jon Jones, it's easy to just focus on the crumbled relationship between the two men. After all, it's their shared dislike that has made their march to UFC 145 so interesting.

But fighters don't train in a vacuum. They have coaches and training partners who walk every step with the fighter until that last one into the Octagon. A fighter's team will live and breathe that bout, which is why so many fighters refer to themselves as "we" when talking about their fights. Jones and Evans' feud ripped apart more than their friendship. It pulled Evans away from Greg Jackson, the coach and friend he had worked with for years.

For the first time, Jackson will look across the cage at Evans. He made that decision after getting advice from Mike Winkeljohn, Jackson's partner in their MMA gym in New Mexico. Winkeljohn told Bleacher Report why he wanted Jackson to corner Jones:

But he upset me in that he kept throwing Greg under the bus. Enough is enough. You have your disagreements, I understand that, but there's more important things out there. And it's time for Greg to work in Jon's corner. Jon's here everyday, helping everybody else out. I mean Jon's that guy. He goes out of his way to help everybody here on the team. So I told Greg, "work his corner."

Though fighting is a business and everyone is expected to act like a professional, that doesn't make it easy for Jackson to work against a fighter he helped build.


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