Jones, Evans, Inter-Camp Loyalty Reaching Critical

By Freya Vor

It’s been a long running pledge of loyalty that MMA fighters not fight with others who train in their camps. These informal “teams” have developed throughout MMA; but, like a pyramid, it gets narrow at the top and some of these loyalties are about to be challenged.

The most recent debate, which could illustrate the classic, “cart before the horse” involves Jon Jones and Rashaad Evans. Instead of avoiding the issue by taking the “we’ll have to see what happens with Shogun first” angle, both Jones and Evans, fueled by UFC President Dana White, have fanned the flames of the debate.

Both Jones and Evans train at Greg Jackson’s gym in Albuquerque and have showed solidarity that they would not fight the other. Both indicated that they would sit and wait for another opportunity if either became champion. However, when papa bear White stepped in and pointed out to Evans the lunacy of sitting out, Evans softened his stance, which caused Jones to soften his stance, which caused Evans to take it to the ghetto, pointing out “I’m no punk…”.

The issue is not isolated at Jackson’s, generally considered the world’s top MMA gym. American Kickboxing Academy and the other top “teams” have had to address the same issue.

 

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