MMA News

Monday, 02/13/2012, 09:22 am

The Teammate vs. Teammate Debate | UFC President Explains His Side

It’s true; Mixed Martial Arts is not a team sport. It’s an individual combat sport that pits man against man for either 15 or 25 minutes to determine who of the two is a better fighter.

There are no teams involved in the competitive aspect of the sport, however, for many fighters; they relate their training home and training partners as their team or teammates.

Some fighters say they will never fight a teammate. Some say they have no issue with it. The common phrases from both sides are. “If we fight, we will do it behind closed doors in the training room.” Or “We fight every day in the training room for free, so why not get paid for it?”

It really depends on who you ask. Carlos Condit has no problem fighting with extended family member GSP and they are getting ready to set it up as we speak. Jon Jones didn’t have any issue taking on Rashad Evans and now the two are going to fight in just a couple of months.

UFC president Dana White is always making a case for teammates to fight teammates and in a recent interview with ESPN he shared how he explained the issue to Rashad Evans before booking the fight with Jon Jones.

Check it out:

[box_light]”I told Rashad, ‘Those guys at camp are your friends; you like hanging out with them. But camp is not your family. All athletes have a very small window of opportunity to make money and achieve great things in front of millions so they’re remembered when it’s over. You’re going to put that on a shelf because of your ‘friends’ and your training camp ‘family’? When s– goes wrong, do you think they’re going to help you pay your bills? No.”[/box_light]

Some people are just loyal by nature; for example, I don’t think we will ever see Josh Koscheck fight Jon Fitch, but this sales pitch White told Rashad Evans would have probably worked for me if I was a fighter propositioned to fight a sparring partner for a UFC world title.


Read More: Dana White (News), UFC , UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans


23 Responses to “The Teammate vs. Teammate Debate | UFC President Explains His Side”

  1. Kyle says:

    In this industry a fighter has to be willing to fight someone out of the same camp to improve their position in the rankings on the way to a title. There are so few elite camps in the world that train the highest level fighters and only so many weight classes to fight at. It is going to happen. I would think of it as an honor to fight against someone I trained with and a small part of me would want to find out who will prevail. After being in a fight at real speed, I would then hope that the person who loses would be in a good position to help the person who wins reach that title by fixing any weaknesses that they were able to exploit in their fight, if applicable. It is hard to separate the personal from the business in this situation, so why not make it personal in a good way by helping the victor of the fight succeed in reaching the goal of being a champion! The problem is selfishness. If they were really family as Rashad has claimed in the past then they should be willing to do whatever has to be done for the family to succeed not just the individual. I can’t wait for Evans v Jones. It will be nice to see two of the best fighters in the 205lbs weight division fight and then put all the dumb shit behind them.

  2. Oj says:

    All this clamour for ‘teamate vs teamate’, ‘friend vs friend’ fights just leave me cold. Where do we stop? What line do we not cross? Soon it would be brother vs brother. Why not father vs brother? Anything goes, right? In a sport thet is seen by many (wrongly) as being barbaric, we want to deny them this little bit of humanity. Yes, they go toe to toe in training. Yes, they ‘go hard’ in training but it can never be with the same “killer instinct” as it would be in a real fight. If u catch a teamate in a lock in training, surely u won’t apply that final 30% that might lead to a breakage. Except, of course, the person isn’t your friend or u dislike them. This is a brutal sport. Injuries can be had. Serious ones. How can people not understand when a guy says, “no, I don’t want to fight and potentially hurt my friend/teamate”. It comes across as brutish and thuggish all this clamouring for blood. Like I said earlier, where does it end? Brother vs brother? Father vs Son? Why not mixed matches then? Wouldn’t we love to see an ex husband vs ex wife fight? C’mon guys.

    • MuckFir says:

      There are all kinds of friends in the nfl, but no one is going to hit you less hard because you two are friends. Like yo usaid, mma is a sport, its not the tsreets where you have to hate someone to fight them. You fight as a sport, and it doesnt have to be anymore then that, a sport. This means two friends go in there, bang it out. and at the end the raise each others hands and give each other hugs. These fighters chose a sport, with few top men, and when you become friends with these top men, you know that you will one day fight them. I just dont think you need to hate someone to fight them, if you understand the sport of mma,like the diaz brothers. It is a respect thing, i would be mad if my teammate didnt go 100% against me. And if my brother wasnt 100 pounds bigger then me, and we wound up working our way to each other in the cage, neither of us would hold back, but in the end we would still be as close as we are.


    both of ya comments are way too long and no one is going to read it.

  4. MMApersonalJesus says:

    I believe fighting is a team sport. When you are training together and teaching eachother your little secrets, it gets really personal. If you are going to fight a team member, both fighters should leave the gym and train elsewhere for the fight . When the fight is done, both return back to the same team or gym.
    At the end of the day it should be up to the fighters whether or not they want to fight eachother. Perhaps if there is a little gym-beef , fighting for real ,without holding back is a way to solve it. Fighters in the gym don’t typically go all out in training. They train very hard but don’t do enough to hurt eachother on purpose anyways….

  5. BobbyLemons says:

    If it can be avoided then it should be, and as far as I’m aware, it always has been. But if two teammates are both looking to move up and their rankings clash, they have to fight if one is to progress. If one dude is willing to give up his title pursuit to let his teammate have his, then fine, he can fight the lesser fighters.

    If teammates of the same weight class both want the same gold around their waist, and they’re both in the same rankings, they’re gonna have to fight eventually…

  6. Xaninho says:

    That pic of Cockshag and his bf is really gay.

  7. CCW.Gun control=Government control. says:

    So two top contenders who are in the same “team” should not fight each other for the belt? They are in the wrong sport if that is what they believe. If they are that great of friends then they should decide who gets to be in the big show. John Fitch and Kos are such good buddies then they should decide which one of them leaves the UFC because they wont fight each other. It could very well be inevitable.

    If my brother and me were training together and we both were in the UFC and in the same division, one of us needs to leave or change weights. End of story. Thats how it works with brothers.

    These fighters who are “like brothers” are full of shit. They will fight each other for the right price. Or they would not be in the same division. End of story.

    Kos and Fitch are full of shit. At least Rashad and Jones are being real and going to fight. They tried to pull that shit at first but they knew all along they wanted the same thing. They actually can be champs though. Kos and Fitch will NEVER be champs. So they can play this “I wont fight my friend he is like a brother” card. But the truth is if one was a title holder and one was the #1 contender they would fight. They are full of shit.

  8. Philippe says:

    Have some respect for Kos and Fitch. They are elite fighters who train their asses off. Not only do they share the feelings of brotherhood in a bloody sport but also a bed at dawn. Let them be.

  9. MMAnalyst says:

    Kos vs Fitch to determine who’s the best guy who will never get a shot at GSP again.

  10. DanielR says:

    the fans loose when friends fight – nelson mir sucked ass and if ur telling me frank would have snapped his arm like he did Big Nog’s,your wrong

  11. dlo says:

    Once again Dana is an idiot. When fighters from the same camp fight each other it disrupts everything from a separation of training camps, coaches, secrets everything. For example Greg Jackson is torn between two fighters. He can’t choose between two fighters so he elected to sit out which is a disadvantage for GSP who will be deprived of his trainer. If Dana doesn’t want teammates then he should pay the fighters more money so that they can hire their own camps just the way it’s done in boxing.

    • MuckFir says:

      Its not like they cant afford to go to there own camp, they just make these power camps like Jackson’s so its inevitable. Why should dana white care about if it disrupts a fighters training? thats not DW problem, his problem is trying to make the best fight available. and if it just so happens they are teammates. tough titties

  12. Pijan says:

    It’s just business. If I ever had to fight a long time friend, I would want them to fight their hardest. We’d be making sure it didn’t go to decision. Plus it’d be nice to know who is better than who. At the end of the day one man will be the winner and one will be the loser and family will be family.

  13. jluis508 says:

    I’m a boxer/wrestler and my best friend is a BJJ practitioner and trust me if we had the chance to kick the ish out of each other for money we wouldnt hesitate. We are both extremely competitive with everything else why not get paid.

  14. Joe says:

    My old man and me fought each other in toughman contests and mma.

  15. KOF says:


  16. KOF says:


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