Rashad Evans: Greg Jackson is About Greg Jackson, Not the Team

April 15, 2012
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The word divorce rarely comes along with anything but a negative connotation attached to it.

Whether it’s a couple splitting up or a company separating from an employee or shareholder, divorce is never easy.

So it’s without much surprise that the very public split between UFC 145 headliner Rashad Evans and his former coach Greg Jackson has been anything but friendly.

Fighters leave training camps or coaches all the time in MMA, but rarely does the reason why hit the headlines like it has in the case of Evans and Jackson. It all stems from the introduction of Jon Jones to the team by Greg Jackson, according to Evans, and it was all downhill from there.

“Like I told Greg at the time, I told Greg I don’t think it would be a good idea, but Greg did what Greg wanted to do for Greg,” Evans explained about how Jones was brought into the camp and team.

“That’s why Greg brought him on because Greg wanted to do what he wanted to do for Greg.”

Evans worked with Jackson for several years and came up in the UFC under his expert tutelage, but now they stand on opposite sides of the cage, and the former light heavyweight champion has had few kind words to say about his ex-coach.

Evans says that Jackson is more about self-promotion than actually being the best coach to the athletes on his team.

“That’s the thing about him. Greg talks about ‘for the team, for the team.’ The team consists of ‘I’ which is Greg Jackson. That’s what the team consists of, it’s about Greg Jackson getting the ‘Coach of the Year’ awards. That’s what it consists of,” Evans said candidly.

Most of the fighters at Team Jackson would probably argue with Evans when speaking about their coach, but the former Michigan State wrestler isn’t budging on his opinion, and it was a harsh lesson learned at the time.

Evans has now been a part of his new team at the Blackzilians for the better part of the past year, and he says he’ll never be put into a situation like the one he had with Jones and Jackson again.

Never ever again.

“I wouldn’t do that; I wouldn’t put myself in the position again. I wouldn’t bring myself with somebody that I knew would be a contender,” said Evans.

“I would never put myself in that position again.”


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  • RonnieV

    I do agree that Greg Jackson does everything he can to get his mug in front of the camera, but Evans is just making himself look like an idiot. I hope Jones beats him worse than Machida did.

  • RubeKegal

    This will be the first time ever I will be rooting for Rashad. Greg Jackson is a phony bitch. When I heard him utter to Jon Jones after the Machida fight, go check on him and make some fans, I knew he was a prick from that moment. Also not for anything, but Rashad was crucial in getting Jackson to where he is today.

    It is also argued that Jackson has done a lot of good himself to warrant that, and I can respect that, but it comes down to this….LOYALTY….it is the most important word in life. If you are not loyal, then you are a prick. People who cheat on their spouse are pieces of garbage. People who screw over their employees/employers are bastards, and I can keep going right down the line.

    GSP saw it too… that’s why GSP is rarely there anymore. All Greg would do is send GSP to different places for wrestling, jiu jitsu and striking, which is why GSP has for the most part eliminated Greg entirely. He just goes to those places on his own.

    Also Jon Jones thinks he is better than people. He doesn’t talk to people, he talks at people like he is some higher being and there is a big picture set in stone for him. I’d like to see him have a slice of humble pie.

    Oh yeah and Ronnie? Nick Diaz SUCKS!! :)

    • phrankthetank

      “rashad was crucial in getting Jackson to where he is today” are you kidding me?? JACKSON is responsible for getting RASHAD to where he is today. GSP is as good as he is because he goes and trains with all those people in all those disciplines. The fact of the matter is this, having a camp as successful as Jackson’s , eventually your fighters are going to have to compete against each other. Condit and GSP are fighting, you don’t see either one of them shut talking Jackson or talking about loyalty. Jones is champ, rashad wants the belt. That camp is large enough that Jackson could have stepped away and both fighters could train. Rashad decided to pack up and leave. That’s a lack of loyalty. Telling your coach not to train a guy because you could end up fighting him someday is absurd. Greg Jackson doesn’t win ‘coach of the year’ by being selfish and stealing the spotlight, he wins awards like that because he is a great coach. He gets a dose of the spotlight because of that.

      • rsnowbass

        You know…I’m on the fence with the this whole situation and quite honestly, I’m tired of hearing about it. But it seems Rashad just can’t keep his mouth shut. (As usual)

        You make a great point above which I’m leaning towards…in today’s fight game, eventually fighters in the same camp who get on a roll will have to fight each other for the belt. I mean, fighters are fighting for the honor of the best at your sport right? I agree that it is absurd telling your coach who to train and who not to train. Condit vs GSP s a great example used above

  • b-soc

    I think Rashad’s ego is getting the better of himself. By the sounds of it, he truly feels that he should be the only contender for the 205 title at Jackson’s. Jones earned his way up and has proven himself as the best 205er in the world. What was he supposed to to do when he was offered – say “no, Rashad is the leader of Jacksons, he’s the only one who can fight for the title unless the other 205er leaves Jacksons”. In the fight business, friends/teammates will fight at some point if they are the best. Rashad, you are full of SH#$!!!!!

    • jamesstenbeck

      Rashad shouldn’t even be at 205 at all. The only reason he is there is because he has a Napoleon complex. He’s Rousimar Palhares without the fancy BJJ pedigree.

  • Towers66

    Diaz is the man. Actually both of them are awesome. Anyways I hope Evans wins. He is a great opponent for Bones and he has a very good chance of winning this bout. Without luck he poses some serious threats for Bones. Luck always helps too though. Jacksons style of coaching is a let down for the viewer, but for the winner,hugger,runner or point taker it is one of a kind. He does win. He’d win the razzies for fans coach of the year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bartinho bartsmith

    The difference between Ceasr Gracie and Greg Jackson is that Cesar actually built his guys from the ground up. He doesnt just recruit made fighters, his guys have been with him since they were amateurs and are fiercely loyal to him, and each other.
    Can you imagine Nick Diaz fight Jake Shields or Gil Meledez? Never!
    Cesar Gracie are the Boston Redsox and Greg Jackson are the A.L. All-star team.

    • phrankthetank

      The thing about Cesar is he loves the limelight, he has a stable of fighters who ruled strikeforce, big deal. Jackson is successful to the point where fighters flood to his gym, he got to that level of success by building fighters

      • brianhussey

        Thank you…well said. Greg Jackson gets saught … not the other way around.

    • jamesstenbeck

      Maybe so; but Rashad’s current team is in the single-A minor leagues.

    • macgrubber

      Nick will never fight shield or Melendez or anyone from the camp because none of them have balls. You call it loyalty I say chicken.

  • pauly12

    I can’t wait for this fight just so we can get passed Rashad whining about everyone breaking unspoken rules and being a phony.

  • RubeKegal

    Truer words were never spoken Bart, you hit the nail on the head with that one.

    • brianhussey

      except for the Boston RedSox comment!!! HA

  • Towers66

    Bart knows his biz. On the other hand, Cesar fighters do make sacrifices to avoid conflict between fighters. Jackson is straight up business which should be respected. Just not appreciated by fans or by the fighters who get caught in the middle of the bull shiz. Jackson does have his team on the right side of the line…but he still has to look at himself in the mirror every morning.
    You won’t see a more loyal fighter than Diaz, Melendez, Shields or younger Diaz…they are always calling out their team with genuine loyalty, respect and they stand proud. Cesar won’t ever be the guy who has to yell at his guys ” get some fans ” because he lets his protege’s be themselves. So what if he likes to be in front of the camera….hes in the business of selling fights just like the rest of them.

  • pooby

    *sniff* Smells like burnt bridges in here.

  • omcclave

    Couple of comments. Why does Nick Diaz Jack every thread? Second if you don’t like rashad or like him talking about why Jackson blows nuts then why do you comment and read? Lastly the comments coming from people obviously come from non fighter and or athletes. The biggest disrespect a coach can do to a fighter or player is take a guy who was your first champion (gsp was champ before Jackson) and then try to replace you for someone else is ultimate betrayal. Saying people from the same are going to have to figt each other sooner or later is BS. How can you put a friend unconscious? Its not just business you are hurting another human being. From the outside it may look like business but inside the cage its for real.

  • rampagefaction

    I’ve never liked Rashad but on this I side with him. Condit/GSP comparisons are irrelevant unless GSP objected to condit joining the team and I’ve never heard anything about that. Jackson preaches this “Rashad is my friend” act, but it just seems to me like he did screw Rashad over. If he was his “friend” then he wouldn’t have brought in Jones over Rashad’s objections.

    • phrankthetank

      GSP would never tell Jackson who he can or cannot coach. He’s better than that.

  • KBEsq

    I love how Evans talks about being abandoned and how his team lacks character when he has three children, two from different marriages, and has abandoned all his kids to move to Fla, where they are 2000 miles away.

    Total piece of trash.

    • rsnowbass

      How’s that for LOYALTY… I love it!

    • jamesstenbeck

      He’s also now divorced, you know; and I’m not sure if he was ever married to the mother of the now-12-year-old girl he fathered with her while he was in JUCO and now resides in Montreal – where not for nothing he could have gone to train at TriStar with GSP if he did have to get away from Jackson’s.

      I must say – this sojourn in South Florida is working out just swell for him.

      Cue up the old Beach Boys lyric:

      “This is the worst trip I’ve ever been on.”

  • mrzero85

    No one is talking about this but
    This is not the first time Jackson has screwed over
    Some one on his team how bout diego sanchez
    He was a big win away from a title shot at 170 and Jackson
    brong in GSP and diego sanchez was like this is the guy
    I may have to fight for the title NO WAY Greg was like He
    Will be good for the team he’s going to help you as
    A fighter diego sanchez bottom line this is the guy i want to fight
    Him or ME Greg Jackson is all about the money and not his guys
    He has no Loyalty Evans should have been his guy going into
    This fight Greg Jackson did that to a kid that was
    At his GYM since he was 16 who was a kid who lived in Albuquerque New Mexico who started his gym that’s a jark for you And Evans put in
    8 years and got no Loyalty Greg Jackson’s thing is he go’s for the money
    and the guy with the belt

    • phrankthetank

      GSP was good for the team, if Sanchez hadn’t bailed for so long, he would have improved greatly because of it. Fighters don’t pick who their coaches coach. Coaches coach who-ever wants to learn. What’s the logic ‘I was here 1st but this guy is could be better than me if you coach him… Screw him he’s not allowed to reach his potential’ it doesn’t make sense to me

  • jamesstenbeck

    Coach of the Year, Rashad?

    Jim Caldwell deserved to get Coach of the Year in the NFL last season more than your current coach, that jealous (of Greg Jackson) jackass Mike van Arsdale does – and van Arsdale is too much of a narcissist to waste his time on the kind of journeyman that you will surely be in about 18 months to 2 years.

    And when that time comes, why don’t you go train at a place like Battle Born MMA in Reno? It will be right on your level; plus at a 4,500-ft. altitude you’ll get back the cardio advantage you so cavalierly threw away when you threw your pathetic temper tantrum and left Jackson’s.

    Greg Jackson has Brian Stann, whose classy move Saturday night made global headlines; what to the “Blackzilians” have? One dude who got thrown out of the UFC (albeit later reinstated) for tweeting disgusting rape jokes; another dude who got thrown out of the UFC for not making 185 in his debut since moving up from 170 (!), plus uber-steroid-cheat Ubereem.

    That’s why I call them “The Axis Of Evil.”