Tyron Woodley disappointed mixed martial arts (MMA) fans worldwide when he declined an offer to take on Hector Lombard inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon, because he wasn't too keen on fighting someone who also trained under same American Top Team (ATT) banner.
Though technically they're aren't official sparring partners or friends, according to Lombard.
And though UFC President Dana White wasn't too pleased with Tyron's reluctance, he gave him a pass for doing the promotion a solid by taking a last-minute fight.
Like White, not everyone is opposed to having teammates fight one another. Among them is head trainer at ATT, Ricardo Liborio, who told MMA Fighting that at the end of the day, fighting is an individual sport and everybody is after the same world title.
And if you have to take on one of your friends to get to the promised land, then so be it.
"We have Robbie Lawler, Tyron Woodley, Hector Lombard, Thiago Alves, Ben Saunders, Colby Covington. We have a lot of great talents at 170. What can we tell them? There's only one belt and they understand it. If they have to fight, they have to fight. We can do different camps for both. We wouldn't like to see it happening, but they eventually will have to fight. At the end of the day, it's an individual sport. We've talked about this for a long time. They understand it, but I won't be in anyone's corner. Tyron and Hector, I train them both. Don't ask me for advice, anything. I'm out. Whoever wins, ATT wins. Tyron fighting Hector would be easier because Tyron sometimes trains in his own gym, so we could find a way to support them both. But I would never get involved in this. I would be watching it at home."
And should Robbie Lawler defeat Johny Hendricks when they collide for a second time in the main event of UFC 181 on Dec. 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada to claim the welterweight strap, there may come a time when "Ruthless" will have to defend his title against a fellow teammate.
For Liborio, if that happens, he has no issues with it and only proves that the team is "doing something right" if they have two teammates fighting for the title.
Convincing the actual combatants to agree to the bout, however, is an entirely different fight.