Jon Jones may not be a popular dude with American Kickboxing Academy, due to his well documented feud with Daniel Cormier, but the UFC champ’s head coach has nothing but good things to say about the renowned, San Jose gym.
Heading into UFC 182 there was some speculation that Jones and Cormier would put their rivalry to bed afterwards. But, not only did “Bones” fire more verbal jabs at “DC”after his victory, he even expressed an interest in fighting the latter’s teammate, heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez. As a result, a new angle to the story has been formed, which pits Jones against the AKA camp.
Well, recently Jones’ head coach, Greg Jackson, appeared on MMA Junkie.com Radio, and here is some of what the MMA guru had to say about AKA and its staff (quotes via MMA Junkie.com):
“Those guys are my buddies,” he said. “They are some of my best friends; I love them to death. It’s never for me, like, ‘gotcha.’ I don’t think in those terms. I just enjoy the game itself. It’s a process to me, so I do the process because I’m in love with the process.
“When I see (AKA coach) Bob (Cook) and I see those guys, obviously, it’s a rivalry – we compete against each other. But (when we see each other outside of fights), I’m more interested in saying, ‘What’s going on, how’s life, and how’s the family,’ because these are men that I deeply respect. You don’t want to go to work against somebody you hate. Instead, I get to see my buddies, and we get to play chess against each other.”
Of course, if you’ve followed Jackson over the years, then you know he’s an extremely outgoing guy who isn’t known for taking shots at other fighters, coaches, or really anybody for that matter. And, as he noted, for him it’s more about preparing his fighters and studying the opposition, rather than getting involved in personal drama.
Now, all this aside, it will be fascinating to see what unfolds with Jones and Velasquez in the coming months. Clearly, Jones has to get through either Anthony Johnson or Alexander Gustafsson next, and Velasquez still has to face interim champ, Fabricio Werdum.
If they hold onto their belts, however, then you never know. The UFC could take a serious look at that fight. Not only would it be massive because of each man’s abilities, but the Jones vs. AKA angle would also drive sales.