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Dana White: “This is the fight business, not the friend business.”

When the MMA community discusses the name Greg Jackson it’s usually in relation to the coach’s reputation as one of the top trainers/corners in the sport. However, one word UFC President Dana White associates with Jackson that few others consider in relation to the sought-after sensei is “businessman”.

White recently gave his thoughts on Jackson’s role in the situation surrounding light heavyweights Jon Jones-Rashad Evans (who fight for the divisional title this weekend at UFC 145). As has beaten into the psyche of every MMA fan, Jones and Evans were former teammates at Jackson’s gym and had a falling out after Evans decided to leave, citing a sense of betrayal brought on by Jackson and Jones’ behavior.

“There is one thing that is an absolute fact, and no matter how often Greg Jackson pumps that family (expletive), Greg Jackson is a (expletive) businessman. The more top guys he brings in, the more money he makes. There’s nothing wrong with Greg Jackson, but he’s a (expletive) businessman,” said White in an interview with Yahoo Sports. “Some of these fighters, who ought to know better but don’t listen to that (expletive) and don’t take it for the crock of (expletive) that it is. These guys need to make the decision where they train based on where they think they’ll get the best work and develop the best, and not on this (expletive) crazy idea that you’re becoming a part of a family.”

“Greg Jackson (expletive) told Rashad this wouldn’t happen, that they’re family and all that other (expletive), but look what is going on now. Look and see who is at Jackson’s and who is not,” continued White, adding a bit of advice for fighters along the way. “Train where you think it’s going to be best for you and if that’s Jackson’s, that’s fine. Just don’t buy into this family (expletive) because there’s nothing to it. This is the fight business, not the friend business.”

The UFC has encountered other past issues involving teammates not wanting to fight each other such as Jon Fitch-Josh Koscheck and Evans-Keith Jardine. Similarly to the root of the issues between Jones-Evans, in those cases a sense of personal loyalty was cited rather than focusing on the business aspect involved.