Don’t assume that just because American Kickboxing Academy teammates Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch refuse to fight each other that there is a policy in place at AKA like the one that Greg Jackson instituted regarding his charges competing against each other.
In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite.
AKA co-founder Javier Mendez explained to Yahoo! Sport’s Dave Meltzer recently that he doesn’t have an opinion on his fighters fighting each other and that he doesn’t get involved in the decision making process when it comes to fights being offered to two of his guys like they have been by UFC president Dana White to Koscheck and Fitch.
“My standpoint is it is up to the fighters,” said Mendez. “I back both my fighters with whatever decision they make. If they both agree and the organizations want it, then it will happen and it’s nothing personal.
And Mendez isn’t the only one at the California gym who doesn’t bat away any suggestion of an inter-team showdown. Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix finalist Daniel Cormier has expressed an interest in facing UFC heavyweight champ and main training partner, UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez if the money is right and if it doesnt harm their friendship.
“He’s a friend,” said Cormier. “I’ve trained him for all of his recent fights. I cornered him. We face each other every day in sparring.It’ll be a very difficult fight for us to do. It will have to be worth it to us financially. We share the same coaches and the same management team. We’d have to address this as a group, with [manager] Bob Cook, Javier.”
Mendez says that if both fighters decide that there will be no hard feelings between them, then he would be okay with the heavyweight tilt going down as well if it’s offered.
“We’ll have to set up separate camps and take care of them as best we can. Daniel [Cormier] has talked about it before. Whatever Daniel wants, I’ll back 100 percent. If Cain says, ‘No,’ guess what I’m going to do? I’ll be behind Cain.”
Although he says he would fight Velasquez, Cormier says that he would much rather find a better solution for his career aspiration of one day wearing UFC gold.
“I don’t want to be just a good fighter. I want to be the best in the world. I could be in line for a championship, but if it came down to us, I’d much rather go to 205,” Cormier explains. “That would eliminate a lot of things. We have a great thing going at AKA — to avoid a lot of negatives, to avoid people having to choose sides, I’d rather move to 205, maybe beat someone and then face Jon Jones. I’d have to have that fight instead of Cain.”
Cain mentioned last month that he’d lock horns with Cormier as well, so if he gets past dos Santos and Cormier can beat Barnett, then Joe Silva could very well have his first heavyweight title defense of 2012 already in the bag.