UFC President Dana White had an explosive one-on-one interview with Ariel Helwani Tuesday night on “UFC Tonight” regarding the cancellation of UFC 151 and his thoughts on UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones‘ refusal to fight Chael Sonnen on short notice.
Shortly into the interview the topic of discussion turned toward Greg Jackson and trainers in general. It was Jackson who told Jones taking the fight with Sonnen would be the “biggest mistake of his career,” according to White.
White went deeper into his ideas about the role of a trainer:
“This is my philosophy on trainers too. You need a good trainer, a guy who’s going to be there for you, a guy who’s going to be there for you, who can kind of keep you in line and keep you training and everything else. [But] Trainers don’t make fighters. Talented fighters make trainers, and that’s a fact. “
White’s argument seems to be that trainers gain their notoriety and build their businesses due to the success of their fighters. He said he has also told Jones in the past to be mindful that Greg Jackson is not actually a family member regardless of what he says:
“The thing you have to understand about Greg Jackson too, and I’ll say it again. I said it before. This guy’s a businessman. First and foremost, before anything, this guy is a businessman. He’s built a business. You know, ‘We’re a family. We’re a family.’ That’s what he kept telling Rashad and Jon so they wouldn’t fight because we’re a family. And I told Rashad and Jon, ‘He’s not your family. Greg Jackson is not your family member, okay? If things go bad for you tomorrow, brother Greg isn’t going to be there for you. Is he going to pay your bills? Is he going to take care of your family, your real family? No he’s not.’ And you saw when it came down to it, when push came to shove, who did Greg Jackson pick? Who did he ultimately pick at the end? He picked Jon Jones, the guy he believed that would beat Rashad. That’s a fact. That’s a business. He’s a businessman. … I’ve had many conversations with Rashad at length about this. “