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Dana White: “This is the fight business, not the friend business.”

When the MMA community discusses the name Greg Jackson it’s usually in relation to the coach’s reputation as one of the top trainers/corners in the sport. However, one word UFC President Dana White associates with Jackson that few others consider in relation to the sought-after sensei is “businessman”.

White recently gave his thoughts on Jackson’s role in the situation surrounding light heavyweights Jon Jones-Rashad Evans (who fight for the divisional title this weekend at UFC 145). As has beaten into the psyche of every MMA fan, Jones and Evans were former teammates at Jackson’s gym and had a falling out after Evans decided to leave, citing a sense of betrayal brought on by Jackson and Jones’ behavior.

“There is one thing that is an absolute fact, and no matter how often Greg Jackson pumps that family (expletive), Greg Jackson is a (expletive) businessman. The more top guys he brings in, the more money he makes. There’s nothing wrong with Greg Jackson, but he’s a (expletive) businessman,” said White in an interview with Yahoo Sports. “Some of these fighters, who ought to know better but don’t listen to that (expletive) and don’t take it for the crock of (expletive) that it is. These guys need to make the decision where they train based on where they think they’ll get the best work and develop the best, and not on this (expletive) crazy idea that you’re becoming a part of a family.”

“Greg Jackson (expletive) told Rashad this wouldn’t happen, that they’re family and all that other (expletive), but look what is going on now. Look and see who is at Jackson’s and who is not,” continued White, adding a bit of advice for fighters along the way. “Train where you think it’s going to be best for you and if that’s Jackson’s, that’s fine. Just don’t buy into this family (expletive) because there’s nothing to it. This is the fight business, not the friend business.”

The UFC has encountered other past issues involving teammates not wanting to fight each other such as Jon FitchJosh Koscheck and Evans-Keith Jardine. Similarly to the root of the issues between Jones-Evans, in those cases a sense of personal loyalty was cited rather than focusing on the business aspect involved.


  • Lord Faust says:

    My friends who signed up for the Ultimate Friendliness Championships fan expo will be heart-broken.

  • Rece Rock says:

    I’m gonna tweet Gary Busey that we need a Buseyism for “Friend”

  • MCM says:

    Shields moved up to MW to avoid fighting his friend and training partner Diaz.
    Hughes was gonna fight Evan Tanner for the MW title if he beat Ace, but since Hughes and Franklin were friends, he decided not to pursue the shot.
    Even Rashad was gonna drop in weight or only take “Money” fights to avoid Jones.

    I understand where Dana is coming from, but I think he’s wrong. You can have it both ways.

  • Dufresne says:

    And on the other hand you have guys like the Lauzon brothers who have said they’d fight each other if they were asked to. Some guys have no problem with it, others seem to think it’s sacrilege. Personally I don’t quite understand the whole mentality of not fighting a friend. Yeah it would be hard to hit a friend, but if I were the champ I wouldn’t deny a friend his opportunity at glory.

  • Lord Faust says:

    The only reason I would be against it is if I seriously thought neither guy would press for a real fight. You might be able to get guys in the cage, it’s another thing all together to make them truly fight.

  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    You don’t have to hate the person you are fighting. The whole can’t fight a friend stuff is weak. Fight it out and let the best man win and then have a beer after the fight.

    Sick of Rashad acting morally superior and all butt hurt because Jones said he would fight him if he was asked to by UFC, which by the way is his employer. Rashad plays the victim real well but, he is the one who has been most vocal about getting this match.

    If he is so morally superior he should have moved up to HW to preserve this sacred bond and brotherhood. He didn’t. Know why? It’s a business and the smartest business decision was to remain at LHW, act super butt hurt and play the victim to the media. It is all an act like all Chael Sonnens nonsense. Keeps attention focused on him and creates a bigger payday for him.

    While Rashads words say victim his actions say smart businessman. Not knocking him making the best decision for him but, this holier than tho act makes me wanna puke. If he would have beaten Rua and been LHW champ, he would not have moved to HW to avoid having to fight Jones. He uses all these excuses to avoid the fact he didn’t want to fight Jones because they were close, he wanted to avoid what he knew would be a sure ass beating.

    All the family, brothers, homies whatever talk was him making excuses for his fears flossing to a younger, more hungry fighter that he knows he can’t beat. His only recourse is to hope all his trash talking disrupts Jones mentally. If Jones is mentally focused and on his game like he has been so far Evans doesn’t have much hope.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    It seems a lot, not all, but a lot of the people who say they won’t fight their friends are the people who have to hate the person across the ring they are fighting. Maybe they are afraid if they get in that mindset for the fight, they won’t be able to get out of it after the fight and keep hating their friend.


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