On May 8 teammates (but not friends) Andrei Arlovski and Alistair Overeem will fight. That presents some interesting challenges to their training partners and coaches at Jackson/Wink in Albuquerque.
Ordinarily, coach Greg Jackson likes to stay out of the corner on fight night when two of his fighters do battle, but this time out, he told MMA Junkie that he'll work closely with Arlovski. "I'm going to work with Andrei and corner Andrei for the fight because I promised him I would," he said (above).
According to Jackson, the plan is for Arlovksi and Overeem to both continue to train at the same gym as they prepare to fight one another. "Alistair will come train at different times, and Andrei will train at different times, and, yeah, it will be business as usual," he continued.
More from FoxSports
Unless things are incredibly adversarial and awkward during training at Jackson/Wink, it is unlikely to be anything resembling business as usual, in fact. Still, Jackson says that, with such a large team of elite fighters, this type of situation is inevitable.
It was the rough situation years ago between then-teammates Jon Jones and Rashad Evans that first made Jackson think of how to plan for such instances. That situation was handled so poorly that Evans left the team with seemingly plenty of bad blood between he and his coach.
"We're an enormous team and we're going to have to fight each other at some point, so we kind of put protocols in place to deal with that, already. It's unfortunate. I don't like it, but it's part of the job, and I'll deal with it," Jackson explained.
The coach hopes that the plans he has in place, now, will help keep his team civil, working well, and in-tact. "[We put these protocols in place] when we went through the Jon Jones, Rashad situation - where I really dropped the ball. I should have had those protocols in place at that time to deal with it. It was just never a reality, so I might not be that sharp, but I do learn eventually," he admitted, humbly.
"That situation really taught me a lot."