Conflict of interest?
While they may have been rivals during filming of Spike TV's Fight Master, which debuts tonight (June 19, 2013) at 10 p.m. ET following the conclusion of Bellator 96, Joe Warren and Greg Jackson have actually teamed up in the aftermath of the show.
Despite being undersized, Warren won the Bellator season two featherweight tournament and proceeded to dethrone then-champion Joe Soto in one of the promotion's most memorable all-time title fights to capture the belt.
Since then, however, Warren has not had the best experiences inside the promotion's circular cage.
"The Baddest Man on the Planet" scored a highly controversial decision over Marcos Galvao in a catchweight non-title bout, then proceeded to get knocked out cold in two consecutive bouts to both Alexis Vila and Pat Curran, the latter of which cost him his championship.
He bounced back this past November to earn a unanimous decision victory over Owen Evinger, which led to the Fight Master coaching gig, and he's now preparing for a return to tournament action this fall in the bantamweight division.
Jackson discussed working with Warren in a video interview with SBNation's FightHub:
"He's a really talented athlete. It wasn't a coincidence he did so well in wrestling. He's coachable, he's smart and he's athletic at a very high level. He can go and go and go and it's a lot of fun to work with those tools and to help him out and because he's a friend, the whole process has been a great time. He has other great coaches as well, I'm just glad to add what I can to the puzzle."
Jackson acknowledged that time isn't on the 36 year old Warren's side and admitted that getting him to fight smarter would go a long way into extended his career.
"He's got some habits that aren't necessarily bad, but he could just probably do things a little smarter. He's not getting any younger so we want to make sure that smart rules the day."
So what do you make of this partnership? Will Jackson be able to turn Warren into a well oiled machine in the next Bellator bantamweight tournament, or is it too little too late?