Georges St-Pierre vs. Carlos Condit?
Rashad Evans vs. Jon Jones?
Joe Stevenson vs. Clay Guida?
On paper, any of those match-ups might seem appealing. With UFC president Dana White’s opinions on teammates fighting teammates, any of them could be proposed at some point down the road.
At a time when the teammate versus teammate debate rages on, Jackson put his foot down and said that his fighters make their own decisions, but if they choose to fight one another, he won’t be training them to beat each other.
“It’s up to the fighters at the end of the day. I will not be a part of it myself,” Jackson told MMAWeekly.com. “Like I’m not going to train one of my team to fight the other of my team. I wouldn’t even know how to do that, that’s so foreign to me that I couldn’t even do it.”
Jackson points out that he is simply the trainer for the fighters that are under his banner, but he doesn’t try to steer their careers. Ultimately, the choice remains theirs.
“I am not a manager. I’m not in charge of fighters’ careers. They have to make their own decisions. If they decide to do it, I’m not going to train them for it is basically the bottom line there,” Jackson stated.
What it comes down to for the New Mexico based coach is simply not being able to choose one fighter over another when it comes down to it. Jackson doesn’t want to be put in the middle, forced to train one of his fighters, knowing that it could be a detriment to somebody else he’s put work and time into.
For Jackson, while MMA is a job, it’s something he’s passionate about doing and just wouldn’t feel right choosing one fighter over another.
“I want to have a friendship with all of my guys and it’s more important than money. For me, I just do this for fun. It’s more important than careers or anything like that. Now that may not be true with them. I hope it is, but if it happens it happens,” said Jackson.
“It’s going to have to happen eventually, but I’m not going to be a part of it. I refuse to take part in any of that stuff. And the nice thing about not being very important in the world, is I’m sure it won’t be a big deal.”
Jackson does admit that there will always be a soft spot in his heart for the original members at his team, but even with them, he won’t pick and choose if any of them opt to face a teammate in the UFC or Strikeforce.
“My loyalty in all the team always goes to the first five guys,” Jackson commented. “Rashad (Evans), and Georges (St-Pierre), and Joey Villasenor, and Keith Jardine, and Nate Marquardt, those are the guys that really started to make the big move with me and my loyalty is always to them first, but I still couldn’t (do it). But they’re never going to fight, so I would just stay out of all of that stuff.”
For now, Team Jackson hasn’t been faced with much in the way of the teammate vs. teammate scenario, but with rising stars like Jon Jones and Carlos Condit looming around the same divisions as Rashad Evans and Georges St-Pierre, it may happen at some point in the future.
Either way, Greg Jackson will gladly take a step back and just watch.