The fracturing of Greg Jackson's highly successful training camp has already started in earnest.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani, Rashad Evans said that he's "done with Jackson's."
For the past few years, only Georges St-Pierre has been a more prominent member of Team Jackson than Evans, and St-Pierre's primary camp is in Montreal, not Albuquerque. Losing Evans would be a big loss for team Jackson.
The Jones vs. Evans Situation
Rashad Evans seems very unhappy about the whole situation, but it's worth considering what he might be unhappy about.
Is he mad at Jones for taking the title shot? Does he feel that Jackson is favoring his newer more promising pupil? Or is Evans just jealous of Jones's success.
I'm sure there are a lot of emotions going through Evans's mind right now, not all of them backed by logical thought, but you have to feel for the guy a bit.
Here he was on the brink of a title fight and then in a flash his training partner steps in to take his place.
Although there was no formal agreement in place, it's possible that Evans assumed Jones would step aside and let Evans get the first crack at the belt. After all, Evans is 32 years old. This might be his last shot at the belt and now Jones has made the road that much tougher.
At 23 years old, Jones could have found some way to turn down the fight and would still have plenty of time to earn his place in history.
Unfortunately, the Ultlimate fighting Championship put Jones in an extremely difficult situation and it's hard to fault Jones for taking Evans' place given the circumstances.
That said, Jones did go further by being the first at the Jackson camp to say that he would fight Evans if that's what Dana White wanted.
By admitting that he would fight Evans, Jones put all the pressure on Evans to respond in kind to avoid looking like "a punk," as Evans put it.
Meanwhile, Greg Jackson was also implicated by his own stated neutrality.
Before being officially welcomed to the Jackson camp, Jones was told that it was on condition that "brothers never fight brothers." Jones betrayed that covenant when he said he would fight Evans, but rather than taking Jones to task for doing so, Jackson has favored Jones by "remaining neutral."
But it's hard to blame Jackson for wanting to keep his new star pupil happy.
Still, it's proved that loyalty only runs as deep as your pockets.
But the issue of "brothers fighting brothers" doesn't end with Jones and Evans.
Nate Marquardt Wants to Fight at 170 Pounds, and Challenge for the Belt
Since UFC 128, Nate Marquardt has stated that he's seriously considering moving down in weight class to challenge for the welterweight title currently held by Georges St-Pierre.
While he hasn't officially stated that he would fight St-Pierre, he's all but done so by stating those intentions that he said would be regardless of whether St-Pierre moves up to middleweight.
This is a curious move because Marquardt has never really seemed like a very large middleweight, but considering the dearth of fresh contenders at 170, and that Yushin Okami and Chael Sonnen would be ahead of Marquardt at 185 even if St-Pierre doesn't move up, the move for Marquardt makes sense.
But it will put pressure on St-Pierre who has also previously said that he'd never fight a friend.
It appears that things at the Jackson camp will soon be getting a lot less friendly.
But somewhere out there, Dana White is smiling.
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