The subject of pitting teammate vs. teammate is something that comes up quite often in the world of mixed martial arts, and it’s a known fact that UFC president Dana White is not a fan of any two fighters who say they refuse to face each other based on a team affiliation.
Fighters training together in major teams has become a mainstay in MMA, with top “super” camps the norm for the fighters in the UFC, Strikeforce, and other promotions.
The topic of fighters like Josh Koscheck facing his friend and teammate Jon Fitch, as well as light heavyweight phenom Jon Jones, who has stated emphatically that he would never fight teammate Rashad Evans.
While appearing on The Jim Rome Show on Thursday, White expanded his thoughts on the subject stating once again that he believes anyone in the sport should be willing to fight anyone else, because at the end of the day it’s business not personal.
“The bottom line is, and the way that that’s been in the UFC, it’s been a camp thing. You’ll find a couple of camps that are saying, ‘oh no this guy’s my friend, I’m not fighting him.’ What? This isn’t personal, this isn’t, ‘oh I hate him, I’m going to fight him.’ You train, you work hard to be the best mixed martial artist you can be, and you’re going out to compete against other mixed martial artists to prove you’re the best,” White said.
Taking the topic to another level, White also gave his thoughts on why he believes certain fighters in certain camps don’t want to face their teammate in the UFC.
“Me personally, what I think, is when one guy says, ‘oh he’s my friend I won’t fight him,’ that means I train with this guy and this guy’s probably going to kick my ass,” White stated. “That’s what I get out of that. I’m not confident enough to fight this guy.”
There haven’t been too many major occasions yet in the UFC where teammates have been forced to make a decision about facing each other, but depending on the status of the welterweight title picture it may come up again soon.
Josh Koscheck is facing Georges St-Pierre for the UFC 170-pound title in December. It’s no secret that American Kickboxing Academy teammate Jon Fitch is nipping at their heels for a shot at the belt himself.
If Koscheck wins, there’s no telling what might happen or what the UFC might push for regarding a title fight.