It was once a question that was rarely asked, however with todays breed of MMA fighters the question is being asked more and more often… Should fighters fight their friends?
Lets get one thing cleared up right away, 99% of fighters fight to win a world title – they fight to be the best in the business! That means that you need to go through anyone that stands in your way… friend of not! Seems like a pretty simple equation, so why is there so much conversation about fighters not wanting to fight their friends or training partners? MMA is a combat sport in which consummate professions apply their trade; it is a distinct honour to fight the best regardless of any form of professional or personal relationship you have with them.
This problem has been a thorn in the side of fighters for years… Who could forget the Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell saga! Although it’s highly disputed that Tito was simply avoiding chuck because he was always going to get flogged, it set this fight back years. Then there was the Jon Jones v Rashad Evans saga, Cain Valasquez v Daniel Cormier saga and more recently the Glover Teixeria v Lyoto Machida saga. I respect the feelings of the combatants but have they considered the impact on their careers, and the impact on us the fight fans.
I am not a UFC fighter and never will be, however during the time I was training at the Relentless Martial Arts Academy I was given the opportunity to fight a very close friend of mine and we both jumped at the opportunity. We kicked the living crap out of each other for 3 rounds and after it was all said and done, we embraced and at that moment we had more respect for each other then we’d ever had before. It brought us closer as friends and made us better fighters, perhaps the UFC fighters that are dodging each other should have a think about this.