They say familiarity breeds contempt, but in the world of mixed martial arts, the lines are a bit more blurry. Promoters often pit teammate against teammate, friend against friend, in their pursuit of financial success. Some fighters refuse those advances, no matter the lure.
“We won’t fight each other,” says famed mixed martial arts trainer Greg Jackson when asked about a potential fight between two of his top protégés, Rashad Evans and Keith Jardine.
Former UFC light heavyweight champions Tito Ortiz and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson have pledged never to fight unless the money was “right.” Other competitors seem to have no trouble putting relationships on the back burner and going toe-to-toe with their friends. Karl James Noons and Yves Edwards come to mind.
Few dynamics can match friend-versus-friend in terms of piquing interest. One needs only to look at the clashes between Ortiz and Chuck Liddell to understand the hype such fights can generate. In the case of James Irvin and Scott Smith or Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin, mixing it up inside the cage can forge even stronger bonds and lead today’s modern-day gladiators to hone their games inside the same gym as their former opponents.
Here are some past, scheduled and potential bouts with thick plotlines...link