When you're the man at the helm of the success of some of the most dangerous fighters in mixed martial arts (MMA) today, life is good.
Greg Jackson, head trainer at Jackson's-Winkeljohn Mixed Martial Arts in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is one of the men behind arguably two of the top three pound-for-pound best fighters in the world, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones and longtime champion of the Welterweight division, Georges St. Pierre.
Jones had an impressive year in 2011, capturing his first world title and defending it twice against some of the toughest competition at 205 pounds in span of nine months. "Bones" is near perfect, with only one blemish in his professional MMA career, a disqualification loss to Matt Hamill for illegal downward elbows in 2010.
St. Pierre has long been the king at 170 pounds, cleaning out the division twice over with wins over some of the tops fighters in the world today and six consecutive title defenses to boot.
The two gifted athletes have enjoyed much success in their careers and all the perks that come with it such as fame, money and mainstream exposure. Though the benefits of their success may be somewhat similar, the fighters themselves are at a different level in their careers.
UFC Central's "Showdown Joe" Ferraro recently caught up with MMA trainer extraordinaire, Greg Jackson, and got his take on which of the two is the best fighter he has ever trained.
Check it out:
"Both of them are amazing. Jon is still young, he is still being tested. He's had a couple of title defenses but he is still being tested and I have a lot of confidence that he will pass the test, as far as how you deal with fame, how you allow the people around you to change, who you bring in. GSP has passed those tests. He's had the title for a long time and so George is always the leader of the charge. He's the guy that everybody emulates. Even other champions can learn, like Carlos Condit, he is now the interim champion, he is also our guy, so we all learn from George's example of staying humble, staying true to himself and keeping the people he has had around him forever, just around him still, being loyal. Constantly learning new things, so yeah, George leads the way. "
As Jackson stated, if having the 170-pound champion in your stable wasn't enough, he also has the interim welterweight champion, Carlos Condit, under his tutelage, as well.
"The Natural Born Killer" will face off against "Rush" later this year, possibly in November at UFC 154 in Montreal, to unify the titles once and for all. Jones on the other hand, has his hands full against former training partner Rashad Evans, who, coincidentally enough, was also a UFC champion under the guidance of Jackson in 2008, at UFC 145 on April 21, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.
In a den full of lions, the French-Canadian Georges St. Pierre, is still the king of the pack.
Anyone care to disagree?