A quick look at Andersons career tells us a couple of things. He may be the greatest mixed martial artist in the world and he does not fight teammates or friends. Wait…what?
In Anderson Silvas defense, he is not the only fighter or camp to have this unwritten policy against fighting teammates but simply not fighting friends? In a recent interview, Anderson “the Spider” Silva said he and Jon “Bones” Jones were friends now and would never fight each other.
Greg Jackson, Gracie fight camps, Ed Soares with Blackhouse all have a “policy” of fighters unwilling to fight each other in their own respective camps. Yet the problem that comes about is what happens when the best fighters in a particular weight class are on a collision course with each other? Life usually only offers a fighter one shot at a title and if they let friendships get in the way of that then they are doing themselves a disservice both to their potential legacy and the ability to seriously ramp up the potential income they can bring in to help support their families.
I don’t believe that anyone is in a position to tell someone what to do with their career, so if a fighter chooses not to fight a teammate then so be it. However, truly if one wants to be the best he must work and train with the best, so an up and coming fighter could potentially shoot himself in the foot by joining a high profile fight camp like Greg Jacksons.
I think we can all look at the Jon Jones and Rashad Evans debacle as how not to handle being teammates. Since the whole story is not out yet about what exactly went on, it can be inferred that Rashad knows his chances of waiting for Jones to lose the belt and Evans being in the proper place to claim it may be a very long way down the road. So Evans broke ranks and decided his career was more important.
But now we are having what may be the greatest pound for pound fighter in the world saying he will not only not fight teammates but add to that list friends as well. To be honest Jones and Silva are in different weight classes so the potential match would be so far in the future anyway, after all it has taken this long to get a match between the Spider and George St. Pierre only to have it snatched away until further notice, that a match with Jones is just hype talk for the fans of MMA anyway.
But what if there were no Superbowl because of friendships among teams or no World Series. Even the normal training camp excuse of “we know each others strength and weaknesses”, doesn’t work because during pre season games glaring weaknesses can be discovered.
Life is short and if you want to be the best, you have to fight the best. MMA is a young sport and these things will work themselves out.