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Greg Jackson Takes World’s Most Reasonable Stance on Jones-Evans Feud: They’re Both Wrong

(“So, we can put you down for two boxes of Thin Mints, one box of Samoas and one box of Thank U Berry Much, then?” Pic: SB Nation)

Have a conversation with any of the top trainers in mixed martial arts – say, a Bob Cook, Trevor Wittman, or even Cesar Gracie – and it’s almost guaranteed that you will walk away struck by their incredible levelheadedness and otherworldly patience. Nowhere is that commitment to sanity and likability more evident than in Greg Jackson who – let’s face it – must be a goddamned saint to put up with everybody else in this sport’s crazy bullshit on day-to-day basis. Seriously, this dude seems far too reasonable to even be involved in MMA.

In fact, if there’s a real tragedy in Jon Jones’ and Rashad Evans’ lightning quick transition from bros to foes these last few weeks, it’s that Jackson is caught in the middle of it. The renowned trainer reiterated his resolve to stay neutral during an interview with MMA Fighting published on Wednesday, in the end essentially saying he feels both Jones and Evans are in the wrong here: Jones for capitulating to public pressure to fight Evans and then Evans for totally freaking the fuck out and decamping for Florida when he found out about it. Jackson’s entirely too sensible take on the situation is after the jump …

“The thing with Rashad is, he said he was okay with Jon coming on the team,” Jackson says, in response to Evans’ claims that the coach somehow forced Jones onto Team Jackson. “I felt that Jon did the wrong thing by saying he would fight Rashad, but once they signed to fight, I’m staying out of it. I’m not choosing Rashad over Jon Jones or Jon Jones over Rashad; I’m staying out of the entire thing. Everybody signed on to (Jon) being on the team. It wasn’t like I brought him on with these evil intentions. I bring a lot of training partners on to the team who are in the same weight class. For instance, Donald Cerrone, Melvin Guillard, Clay Guida – all these guys are in the same division.”

As he so often does, Evans seems intent on going whole hog during the trash talking portion of promoting an upcoming fight with Jones. As you already know, he dished the dirt to anyone who would listen this week, calling Jones a “Judas” and accusing Jackson of betraying him by even bringing Jones onto the team in the first place. While that might be a good strategy for Rashad – one of the many remaining unknowns about Jones is how he’ll respond to a bitter grudge match – but it sure sucks for Jackson.

“I love Rashad to death,” he says. “I’m not sure why he’s angry at me. I guess I can see from a perspective — that isn’t really the way it is — why he’s angry, but I don’t have any animosity towards him. I’ve always tried to help him out. I was with him right after he won that reality show all the way to his world title. I’m not sure what it is … Maybe (it’s the situation), but Rashad is coming straight at me, (saying) ‘Greg Jackson did this and Greg Jackson did that.’ I’m the one that’s not choosing. I’m staying neutral. I’m not going to tell you, ‘You can’t fight.’ You’re both grown-ass men. I’m not the boss of either of you, and I’m not your dad.”

Cagepotato Comments

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dillweed- March 24, 2011 at 3:09 am
Matt Hughes is laughing his ass off on a tractor somewhere, the new best thing don't last long in mma these days bitches
macreadysshack- March 24, 2011 at 1:05 am
Again, I don't understand not fighting your friends. It's not a deathmatch. Like Titos Head said, it would probably just bring you closer. Sparring sure as hell does and if you don't think there's a winner and a loser in sparring, you haven't been sparring.
Smitty- March 23, 2011 at 9:34 pm
Clyde had the most intelligent comment. RwilsonR and morningwood had a great calabo. Dagnut and Taco put a little church in the comment section, which never hurt any of us, and Karma is back from pursuing his dreams. Life is good.
KarmaAteMyCat- March 23, 2011 at 8:19 pm
er I ment jones has never faced a grappler of this caliber.
KarmaAteMyCat- March 23, 2011 at 8:16 pm
I like the stance Jackson is taking. It's respectful! I can honestly say that I've never enjoyed an Evans fight and I certainly am not the biggest fan of his attitude! Though I can admit I respect him as a competitor he wants that belt and he's willing to face the guy who I THINK is the baddest man in MMA and easily the Number one 205lb fighter in the world. So power to him I have enjoyed seeing Jones take out ALL the grapplers thus far so lets see what happens I'm sure we're gonna see some sort of "Oh no Evans has never faced a grappler of this caliber" those people are wrong. It's going to be an entertaining situation.
IronTrey- March 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm
Yah its obvious Rashad is pissed about a younger, bigger, stronger dude who could put his ass away with ease. I dont care if he trains with him, he ISNT Jones and aint no body out there that can touch him accept for maybe A.Silva.

If i were Jackson i'd be jumping for joy to finally have a prodigy in my camp who can actually finish people. Its cut and dry, peace out Rashad, go cry elsewhere.
Dagnut- March 23, 2011 at 3:18 pm
^^^^Thats what Jesus would do..
RwilsonR- March 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm
@ Maine Blazer - Jones will rat your ass out so fucking fast...
Maine Blazer- March 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm
All three dudes just need to roll one up and light it and make peace. I volunteer to facilitate
skeletor- March 23, 2011 at 1:11 pm
Jackson should be able to set this strait with one of his pattented 25 minute hugs.
intercept440- March 23, 2011 at 12:57 pm
FOX NEWS FLASH "this just in Greg Jackson just changed the name of his MMA gym to Rainbow Brothers Banghole, our motto is : " When you want to Bang The Team way is the Thang"

^ GJ " We offer 2 way and three way training for profesionals for free we have multiple coc.... i mean options for your to be expanded
Morningwood- March 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm
sounds like Dog Dicks is having a turrets fit.
Morningwood- March 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm
Eddy Bravo is hilarious. even now in my sober days, I think he's funny as shit!
Morningwood- March 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm
I suppose I could go on a bitch fest about how it makes more sense to take money from guys you help earn a living then from families sending their 8 year olds to a class. But, it seems like it works so whatever.

I like the part in the article about how GJ likes building relationships rather then making a quick buck.
Dog Dicks Magoo- March 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm
Penis. Penis just every where.
PERPATRAITOR- March 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm
It just goes to show who the tightest camp is. Team Cesar Gracie bitches!

My favorite camps are:
Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu
Roufus Sport
Golden Glory (I hear they have golden showers)
But for me!? I'd go to 10th planet JJ. Smoke that chronic then choke out your boys. Ahhh life is just too cool man. Lol gotta love those Eddy Bravo videos.
RwilsonR- March 23, 2011 at 12:28 pm
LOL - I just went and found that same article to support my failing memory and was about to post that same link. Crazy, huh? Anyway, here is the link to the original article on it, as well:
Morningwood- March 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm
well fuck me...RwilsonR is right

RwilsonR- March 23, 2011 at 12:17 pm
Again... I'm remembering an interview from a year or two ago from Jackson, so don't take that as gospel. But I remember it because it sounded so strange to me.
Morningwood- March 23, 2011 at 12:12 pm
RwilsonR really? that sounds weird, has it been confirmed by anyone? Had he already won a Mega bucks lottery?
Clyde- March 23, 2011 at 11:54 am
I have no feelings towards this article.

All neutrality aside, this is not a team sport. I can agree with not fighting your team mates to a point, but if you want to be a world champion, and your friend has the belt, you have to take the shot. Equally, if you are the champion, and your friend has earned a title shot, you should agree to fight them.

In fact I'll go one further and say that if you are the champ, you should be pressuring them to take their shot because if they are your friend, how can you deny them their dream? That's worse than just ducking a contender because you're worried about losing because you're hurting someone you supposedly care about.

If rashad wants to train somewhere else for this fight, that's a sensible move, but if he never intends on returning to the same camp as Jones, regardless of the result of the fight, they're clearly not as good bros, or as professional as they claim to be.
Fried Taco- March 23, 2011 at 11:49 am
So Greg Jackson is Pontius Pilate, and is washing his hands on the whole thing. I can't wait to see Rashad get killed in the cage, and then say afterwards "I'll be back."
knucklesamitch- March 23, 2011 at 11:42 am

You can get the whole PPV from any torrent site.

I've never read GJ saying he doesn't take money from pro fighters, but I have a hard time believing that. That would be like Freddy Roach not taking money from Pacquiao.

As for the whole Evans/Jones drama, I'm tired of it already. Not to mention it's hard to get behind Rashad's hype. He talked so much shit about Rampage that you'd have thought that fight was going to be a war, and instead it was a 15min collegiate wrestling match. I'm not going to debate whether Jones' humility is phony or not, but I call shenanigans on the fact that Evans comments seem to lean to the fact that he believes Jackson's gym exists for the sole purpose of making him champ.
RwilsonR- March 23, 2011 at 11:26 am
@ Morningwood - I could be wrong on all of this, but I remember an interview awhile back where Greg Jackson said he doesn't take any fight money from the pro fighters at his gym, nor does he charge them to be a part of the gym. Sure, he makes money from the acclaim it brings to his gym, but he doesn't directly take a cut of any of it from the fighters.
Ballkick- March 23, 2011 at 11:21 am
Rashad is going to get fucked up by Jones, I can't wait to se the lopsided Vegas odds on that scrap. I don't give Evans a snowballs chance in hell to win that fight.
I'm so pissed I missed the Jones/Rua ass whooping, was outta town cornering fighters.
Anyone got a link so I can watch it?