The much-publicized bitter feud between current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones and number one contender Rashad Evans has been going on for a little more than one year now.
Throughout that time, words have been said, feelings have been hurt and friendships have been ruined. "Bones" and "Suga" were not only training partners at Jackson-Winkeljohn Mixed Martial Arts Academy in Albuquerque, N.M., they were also good friends.
However, Evans and Jones wasn't the only relationship strained during the 12 months of verbal warfare. Famed trainer Greg Jackson, was also caught in the crossfire.
After taking Evans to the top of the mixed martial arts (MMA) game in 2008, winning the world title from Forrest Griffin at UFC 92, Jackson, a few months later, decided to bring in the young prospect Jones into his stable of MMA stars.
Three years later, Jones is the one holding the 205-pound title and Evans bolted the "505" for sunny Florida to join "The Blackzillians" over at Imperial Athletics. Now, the three will once again be reunited as Evans and Jones will finally meet inside the Octagon on April 21, 2012 at UFC 145, and Greg Jackson will be cageside, giving his young champion orders on how to defeat his former student.
Appearing on "The MMA Hour" today (April 2, 2012) Jackson says the decision to corner Jones against Evans wasn't easy, but it came down to the simple fact that Jon is still with the team and Rashad is not.
Check it out:
"I felt I had kind of a duty to the team. What I mean by that is Jon Jones is on the team, Rashad has left the team and has made it pretty clear he's not coming back. My personal feeling, if I wanted to be a little selfish, I would say, 'I don't want to deal with any of it. I don't want to be there at all.' But it has to mean something to be on a team. It has to mean something, and I felt I had a duty to do that, because Jon's on the team, so it's my responsibility to corner him. Even though it's a really hard decision, I decided to go with it. It's not fun. I wouldn't call it weird, it's just not fun. I love Jon to death, but I love Rashad, too. And so it's not a position I enjoy at all. It's not something I like, but it something I think I have to do."
Once the dust settles in Atlanta, Georgia, Jackson says he hopes the former friends and training partners will find a way to leave their differences inside the Octagon and squash their beef:
"In a perfect world, they have a great fight and everybody squashes it and moves on from there, but we'll see. Life is not a perfect thing. Everyone makes mistakes. I make mistakes, everybody else does as well, so yeah, I hope it gets squashed and everything works out after that. That's my hopeful scenario."
Indeed life isn't perfect, but as we have seen countless times, once two rivals exchange leather inside the Octagon for a few rounds, the majority of the time, peace prevails and difference are settled.
Just look at Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock, or Wanderlei Silva and Quinton Jackson. The once bitter rivals aren't exactly the best of friends, but the respect factor is there and it is safe to say the animosity is gone. Then again, Ronda Rousey didn't seem to care too much to squash her beef with Miesha Tate shortly after nearly breaking her arm at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey a few weeks ago.
Which route will Rashad and Jones take after their title fight, remains to be seen.
What's your opinion Maniacs, right call on Jackson's part to go ahead and corner Jones in his upcoming title fight against someone he still considers a friend?