One of the biggest dilemmas both Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champions, Georges St. Pierre and Carlos Condit, have been dealing with in the build up to their much-anticipated title-unifying bout on Nov. 17, 2012 at UFC 154, is the fact that neither of them will have Greg Jackson in their ear shouting important instructions to help carry out their gameplan.
The famed trainer was adamant when the time came his two champions would have to meet inside the Octagon, he would not choose sides and remain neutral. Instead, Jackson will be eating a cheeseburger somewhere, while "Rush" and "The Natural Born Killer" collide to find out who indeed is the world's best mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter at 170 pounds.
For "GSP," though he would love nothing more than to have Jackson in his corner, he understands his decision and says that when it comes down to it, on fight night, it doesn't really matter if the Pope or his grandmother is in his corner, when the cage door slams shut, it will be he and Condit doing all the fighting.
He said as much at yesterday's (Sept. 27, 2012) UFC 154 press conference:
"I like to have Greg in my corner but to tell you the truth, we both have the same problem, because he (Condit) won't have it and I won't have it as well. Corner doesn't really matter in a fight, it does a little bit, but even if the Pope would be in my corner or my grandmother, the truth is when you come back after a round you're exhausted. You have maybe 20 seconds that a person can tell you what to do to change your strategy or help you out. You have a window of 20 seconds, the rest of the time you're trying to recuperate and get back to your breath. Also, what happens in the fight, it's not the corner that matters, it's the hours of training and repetition that you made in training that will happen in the fight without you thinking about it. So, it's really instinct, the instinct that takes over. It happens so quick at times that you don't think about it. So for me, right now, and Carlos, I'm sure it doesn't really matter. It's doing to be one on one and the best man will win."
Though I'm sure the holy Pope Benedict XVI would love to pull cornering duties for "Rush" at UFC 154, he probably has a few more important things on his agenda.
The decision to not choose sides is probably a wise one on Jackson's part. The much-publicized rift between his current student, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former student, Rashad Evans, took as much a toll on him as it did the fighters.
Though their rift had nothing to do with choosing sides, Team Jackson probably didn't want to go through another draining and drama-filled battle with finger-pointing and bad-mouthing plaguing the famed training camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Either way, when the final horn sounds and the winner is announced, Jackson-Winkeljohn Mixed Martial Arts will have the UFC's welterweight champion on its team.