Mike Easton is lined up to face Yves Jabouin on May 15, 2012 at UFC on Fuel TV 3 from the Patriot Center in Fairfax Virgina. Photo via Getty Images.
And the feeling is apparently mutual.
Though mixed martial arts (MMA) is a one-on-one sport, friendships and bonds are often created with training partners on a daily basis in training gyms and camps across the globe. Eventually the day will come when you might have to face one of your friends and/or training partners inside the cage.
That dilemma has been the cause of many highly contested debates of training partner vs. training partner and friend vs. friend. It has also caused the highly publicized beef between Rashad Evans and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones.
Starting his UFC career off with two impressive victories is getting "The Hulk" close and closer to a potential showdown with the division king, Dominick Cruz, who just so happens to be Easton's training partner with Team Lloyd Irvin.
Should the two scrappy bantamweights ever find themselves with no other choice but to fight each other, Easton says both he and "The Dominator" are fine with it.
See what he told the DC 101 Radio Show, after the jump:
"Me and Dominick, we already talked about it. Everyone knows that everyone's mission when you're in the UFC is to get that belt, period. Dom knows it and he wants to fight. He likes to fight and it helps both of us out and it makes us better fighters, we both can make a lot of money off of it. If we want to retire one day, later on in life, we can retire happy and represent the UFC loving life. It will be history for our team. Lloyd Irvin's mixed martial arts academy for two teammates to fight for the belt. That is something incredible. I have to bring my all to him, when that time comes."
Before Easton and Cruz take their sparring sessions inside the Octagon for a real fight, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) black belt has a tough task ahead of him as he takes on Yves Jabouin, who is on a two fight win streak himself, at UFC on Fuel TV 3 from the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia on May 15, 2012. A fight Easton says, will provide not-stop action due to his tremendous pace, cardio, and skill advantages anywhere the fight goes:
"Keep the pressure on him. Keep a super high pressure on him and a super high pace. I have to push him I have to take him to a place that his mind and body has never ever gone before and I'm the guy to do that. I'm non-stop action, I keep going and I keep the pressure going and I'm the hardest hitter in the division, period. In the 135-division I am the hardest hitter and everyone knows it, and I'm a beast on the ground, so just keep the pressure, keep the pressure on him and get him tired because I am a cardio machine. Everyone already knows that my guillotine chokes is one of my best chokes and, it is what it is. It doesn't matter who you are, if I catch you in it, that's it, lights out."
Of course, Cruz has to do his part as well if he and his teammate ever hope to make history for their gym, as he has to complete his trilogy with bitter rival Urijah Faber at UFC 148 on July 7, 2012.
Easton on the other hand, is confident that his power and ground skills are more than enough to defeat Jabouin and take him to a big time title fight soon.
What's your say Maniacs, have you seen enough of Easton's game to convince you he has what it takes to compete for the bantamweight title one day? How would he fair against the upper echelon fighters in the 135-pound division?