Greg Jackson Accepts Responsibility for His Role in Jones vs. Evans Rivalry

April 19, 2012
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Greg Jackson UFC 145When examining what exactly caused Jon Jones and Rashad Evans to the point where they stand on the precipice of a showdown at UFC 145, there’s no one root cause.

There were a myriad of factors involved including things from Jon Jones, things from Rashad Evans, and also things from coach Greg Jackson.

Evans points the finger at Jackson as the catalyst for the whole situation to unfold after bringing Jones into the camp. Jones was a rising star in the light heavyweight division at the time.

For his part, Jackson has no problem taking some of the blame for how it all came to this. He doesn’t back away from the mistakes he made, but he also admits he’s not infallible.

“I always try to take my responsibility in every situation, even if it doesn’t go well. There was a protocol thing that I’ve said before that I said was big, we should have had earlier on, and I think that’s directly and 100-percent my fault that we didn’t have a plan for when this stuff would happen,” Jackson told MMAWeekly Radio.

“I take responsibility on that end of it for sure. We weren’t ready for it. A lot of people had to pay prices for that.”

It wasn’t the first time in his life Jackson made a mistake, and it surely won’t be his last. He’s just sad that it all crumbled apart the way that it did, and now it’s led to Jones and Evans facing off in one of the most heated rivalries in UFC history.

“I’m going to make mistakes. I’m a human being. I’m not perfect at all. It was just an oversight. I didn’t wake up maliciously one morning like I’m going to do this stuff. It was more like I should have done this and in hindsight I can see that. It just wasn’t a reality up until Jon and Rashad,” said Jackson.

“I feel like I could have done that much better. I don’t think Rashad had to react the way he did and things kind of escalated quickly because of that, but it was my fault that I didn’t have a plan for it.”

Because of the escalating situation between Jones and Evans, Jackson has now put in place a series of rules that encompass his team and his fighters should they ever have to face one another again.

The situation actually has already come up again because Carlos Condit will be facing Georges St-Pierre later this year with the UFC welterweight title on the line. Jackson points at those two fighters as the model for how things will be handled in the future.

“We have protocols for that now and it’s exemplified by the fact that Carlos and GSP are fighting each other now and there’s no animosity. They don’t hate each other. There’s no huge deal or any drama, or anything like that. A lot of it is about the reaction of the person,” Jackson commented.

“Georges is still solidly on the team. Carlos is still solidly on the team. Everybody is still one unit, but we’re just going to have these situations where we’re going to have to fight each other now. That goes for any time two people are on the team; I don’t corner either of them. Those are the protocols. There’s others too, but that’s the one that’s important. If you are both members of the team, I’m not going to corner against you.”

Will Jackson and Evans ever mend fences? That’s hard to say at least until after Jones and Evans face off at UFC 145, but Jackson hopes that his former pupil can at least one day shake his hand and move past the hurt feelings.

“I hope so. That will be up to him,” said Jackson about Evans. “I’m certainly willing to let bygones be bygones. I’m never a guy that holds a grudge.”

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  • jamesstenbeck

    If Rashad cannot move past this it will likely spell the end of his career – especially after Jones KO’s him less than halfway through the first round, as he surely will.

    • BlackDog2009

      why would it be the end of his career? Rashad only has ONE loss, he’s well rounded, young, accomplished and has fought the best… and since when has Jones been KOing anyone? Sure there’s a first time for everything but it’s more likely that Rashad KOs Jones than the other way around.

      • Lesnardo

        I think what James is trying to say is that if Rashad loses to Jones, which is very likely to happen, it will be the beginning of ending of Rashad’s career.

        Rashad was KOed by Lyoto and hasn’t faced Shogun or Hendo yet. And most believe that Rashad would get killed by Lyoto in a rematch.

        So in a sport where only the champion and a handful of contenders could make a decent living, a middle-of-the-pack dude has no place.

        It doesn’t matter if Rashad only has one or two losses. A loss to Jones, followed by a loss to one or more of the three contenders mentioned above would put Rashad on the same level as Forrest Griffin. And Rashad is paid way too much for the UFC to keep him around at that point.

        The title of this article is misleading. There is no “rivalry” between the two fighters in a sense that the two are not on the same level. It’s more like Rashad manufacturing a feud to stay relevant in the game.

    • Armtech


  • philmckracken

    I dont understand what rashad thinks jackson is supposed to do? Have 1 light heavy 1 heavy 1 light weight 1 welter? Its inevitable! See who is the best and move on. Cocky Jones? STF up and fight him and see. Jones got the opportunity to be a champ and Rashad is jealous. Plain and simple. If Jardine doesnt wanna be a team player for Jackson then send him to the Blackzillians too. Good riddance!!

    • BlackDog2009

      Well at the time Rashad was the light hw star of Jackson’s team, he was the man… Rashad foresaw that Jones could potentially be a contender in his own weight division, told Jackson to consider it, apparently Jackson said that he had things under control and would prevent them from facing each other and all that was bullshit. Rashad ain’t stupid, he’s just telling it how it is. Meanwhile, Jones learned from Evans, became friends with him, also said he was never gonna go against him and it was all bullshit too. Evans is right to be pissed.

      • philmckracken

        Greg didnt want it that way but reality is reality. The thing to do was let them fight and even though rashad left, Greg still wasnt gonna corner Jones until he couldnt shut his jealous big mouth. Very true greg shouldnt have said that but you cant run a gym and have only one champion in each weight class or youd have 4 to 5 guys in the gym if your lucky enough to have a champ in each weight class. George and Carlos have no problem with it!! Why? Because theyre not jealous little bi#$@hs that wanna see who is really the best fighter. And yep. Jackson isnt cornering either.

    • TKD

      Phil is right. This entire situation was created purely by jealousy. Why does Retard Evans think he can keep fighters off of his team? It is obvious buy his own words that it was because Jones was that good. Retard is an asshole, and he is going to become a gatekeeper after Saturday night!

    • BizzleZX10R

      I Dunno Phil..but AKA seems to get a grip on making that shit not happen. 3 of their best guys are welterweights and never fought and most likely never will fight eachother.

      • philmckracken

        You see where thats getting Fitch too!! Just naming him because hes the poster boy for not wanting to fight his “friends” I dont know how many fighters there are in the Ufc but I know they can have only one champion in each weight class and if you wanna go through life being second best then I guess go ahead but I know I wouldnt wanna leave a legacy of somebody else being the champ if I knew I was better. Prove your better and stop hiding behind.. hes my friend. waaaaa

    • Armtech

      Damn right,

  • guybezzar

    There’s been so much talk, i would like to see them focus on the two fabulous athletes for a change.

    • philmckracken

      ^^^ AMEN!!!

  • jonnypatrick

    Jackson is supposed to be a man and stay loyal to those who helped build his name/reputation. That wasn’t Jon Jones, it was Rashad and the other original members. I’m not a fan of Rashad but I hope he knocks Bones the f*ck out. He went to Greg when Bones came to the gym and told him not to sign him because this would happen. Greg lied to his face and said that it would never happen. Rashad even said after he got hurt and Jon Jones got the titles shot that he would drop to 185 to avoid the fight. But “Cocky Jones” in his first interview said that he would fight him if it came to that.

    • philmckracken

      So Jackson is supposed to only have dips@#ts in his gym that have no chance at being a champion because RASHAD wants to be the only top notch guy there? Thats idiotic!! Dont sign him Greg.. He might be a champion for you someday!! Loyal? Rashad left!! If Rashad stayed Greg wouldnt corner either to let them see who is the real champion and thats how it should be. Move to 185? Haha. “cocky jones” has a pretty good reason to be confident in himself! Im sure not gonna say Rashad cant beat him but I’d love Jones to tear his a$$ in half!!! You should open a gym and let one of your guys tell you he should be the only one you keeps there and bring in dummies instead of quality fighters!! Loyal Rashad? Fkn funny!!

      • markrenton

        Exactly. This is just a way to hype up this fight…there are no loyalty issues here. This is a business, not a friendship club. There are dozens of guys in the UFC that have trained together and ending up fighting. If you have a problem with that then dont fight in the UFC. You can’t expect to train at Jacksons camp, with some of the best fighters in the world in your weight class and not expect to possibly fight them some day. Rashad taking shots at Greg Jackson is absurd to me. Jackson took a small heavyweight from TUF and turned him into a UFC champion. So ready for this fight to just happend and put an end to this.

      • Anthony

        Phil ,preach on brother-I havent disagreed with anything youve said on this topic and you are respectfull in your replies . You dont feel the need to insult someone to prove your point. I think your spot on.

        • philmckracken

          Im not completly respectfull. Haha!! Its a fight, contest, job, career, living, whatever you wanna call it. If me and my buddy at work have a chance for a promotion and I’m better. Im not gonna sit there like a idiot and let him have the job. If he wants me to do that then he isnt much of a friend to me anyway. May the best man win!! Isnt that what this is about. Hes not trying to bang his wife!! Both cant be the champ!! FIGHT!!!

  • jonnypatrick

    I predict that Jones will be handed his first defeat on Saturday. He can’t knock Rashad out and Rashad will drag him into the championship rounds and take back the title.

    • Lesnardo

      Umm..Lyoto knocked Rashad out. Not sure why you think Jones can’t.

      There will be no championship round.

      Jones will school Rashad for two rounds and knock/choke him out.

    • TKD

      Looks like jonnypatrick has been puffing too hard with the Diaz brothers. Retard will not win this fight. Retard Evans: Coming to a Burger King near you.

      • philmckracken

        He aint smoking weed!! He’s smoking crack!!

  • jonnypatrick

    I never said that Jackson shouldn’t have signed Jones I said Rashad went to him man to man and said that he didn’t want this to happen and Greg lied to his face and said he wouldn’t ever let that happen. I’m saying for Greg to be a man and tell Rashad hey man this is nothing personal it’s just business and then this wouldn’t even be a topic of discussion. I don’t really like either fighter but what Greg did was bullsh*t. Have you read what Dana White has said about it? I guess not. Greg should have been a man from the get go.

  • jonnypatrick

    Lyoto did knock out Rashad and it humbled him, just like Jon Jones is about to be humbled by Rashad. It’s not by chance that Rashad has 1 loss and 1 no contest. As much as i dislike the guy he is a great fighter and has been tested in fights. He has also fought top tier guys his whole career. Has Jones???

    • philmckracken

      Are you retarded man? Jones finished Lyoto! Finished Rampage! Finished Shogun!! Put the crack pipe down!!

      • Lesnardo

        Omg. just wow.

        Jones hasn’t fought top level fighters??

        Jones actually fought Lyoto, Shogun, and Rampage in his last three bouts. He destroyed all three of them.

        Evans got schooled by Lyoto, almost got killed by Rampage in the third round, and has been avoiding Shogun.

        Jones fought more top LHWs than Rashad.

        Middle-of-the-pack guys like Thiago Silva and past-prime guys like Chuck Liddell don’t count dude.

    • Armtech

      If I was Rashad I go somewhere and hide, or pull out of the fight, divorce reasons, or injured, he is good to find excuses,

  • What’s wit ppl saying Rashad Evans has no chin beside lyoto and rampage who has hurt him or had him on shaken knees….let’s be real lyoto rock jones and rampage, jones ran from rampage,lyoto knock jones to the other side of the cage…facts ppl

    • tour

      I am not saying Rashad has no chin, but Thiago comes to mind a somebody who rocked Rashad

    • philmckracken

      Yeah… Jones run from Rampage until he choked him to tap!!! Thats a fact!! Lyoto rocked Jones? Yep… Lyoto got put to sleep!!! You need a bigger screen on your TV or some glasses!! You cant be serious!! Man…. Im seriously thinking about smoking some of this crack you guys are losing reality with!! Wow!!! Hit that pipe one time for me homie!!!

      • Armtech

        A 3D tv it helps….

        • philmckracken

          Good God I hope so!!!

  • And also how bout we stop dissing the two guys I train Mma alot and no one here can beat them to guys that well be in the cage saturday. I’m not a fan of ether one but I don’t hate ether one. Some of you sounds like ur butt hurt by what ever they say…..And side note Jones will not knock out Rashad and vice versa I can see ether one of them winner ground and pound.

    • philmckracken

      Cut one or two of the mma classes you train “alot” with the “to” guys that “well” be in the cage with and take a spelling class or “to” for “ur” self. Okeyyyy dokeyyyy!! Duhhhhhhhhhhhhr

  • Merle

    Ooohhh! Mr Jones please stop beating me. Ooohhh my how it hurts.

  • Scratchface

    By the looks of it, it’s seem the comments have taken a turn for the worse, but in terms of teammates fighting teammates, i think that is more of a UFC mentality and less of an mma mentality. What I mean is UFC is purely business and sometimes smart business means pitting two teammates against one another, but as martial artist there is loyalty, honor, and respect you share with those you train with and fighting them outside of training puts all those qualities into question.

    What happened with Jones and Evans is solely Greg Jackson’s fault. He put his business before his fighters. You can have two top fighters in the same division train at your facility or camp, but you should have the foresight to train them separately if your intentions are to have them fight each other. The GSP and Condit situation is different because although it’s said they are teammates, they’ve never actually trained together. Hence no one feels used or betrayed.

    In the Evans/Jones situation is it quite clear Greg brought in a new champion to replace his aging champion. Good for business, great for fans, appreciated by the UFC, but it does not represent what it means to be a martial artist or a loyal coach, kru, sensei, or sifu.

    knowing Jones would become a contender the two should have been trained separately, at least until Rashad was ready to take a leadership role in the gym and away from competition.

    • BlackDog2009

      Well said. And on you ‘aging champion’ comment part, when Jones got into Jackson I’m thinking Rashad was about 29 yrs old… if Jackson was already looking at him as an aging champion there’s something wrong with his mentality.