Bob, nothing you are saying is untrue. But knowing the complications, why train as part of a team to begin with?
True, It isn't fair. I can completely see two fighters from the same gym climbing the ladder to the point they are competing for a belt and finding themselves unable to fight. But, training as part of a team will always create these issues. It is MMA. A one-to-one sport. Training in "teams" for one-to-one combat is great when your teams are also opposing. eg. One country against another. But to use the example of kos, Swick and Fitch. All welterweights. All of them WANT the same belt. They fecking talk about it enough and how they "deserve" it. But, they wont fight!? Somethings got to give. What happens if Fitch holds the belt. Will Kos suddenly believe hes not the best WW in the UFC?
Its all very well talking about damaging friends and the ethics of it. Its difficult to argue for pummelling your friends head in. But when you are top ranked, what about the damage to the legitimacy of the sport?
Are we seriously suggesting the whole gym/team thing is a good thing for competition?
Not at all, and I think we share the same views for the most part. It's understandable but awkward and something needs to give to stop it increasing. In Koshcheck's case, I reckon he's the sort of person to just say f*ck it lets do this. Daley and Hardy have been mates for 8 years, that's a long time.
The way things have progressed, sets of trainers have accumulated strong teams of top fighters, and it's lead things to what we're discussing today. If you were a fighter would you turn down the opportunity to go to ATT because there's one other person of the same weight? If fighters start recognising this issue and avoiding gyms where there's other fighters the same weight, they're just limiting themselves.
It make sense to build a gym packed with top fighters because they will all be better off from it, but we get this issue of fighters being friends. The sport is individual and it just doesn't work having loads of top fighters in the same weight class at one gym. I don't know what the solution is, everyone needs training partners. And while the UFC can sell fights that feature the likes of Hardy and Daley, but never against each other, it's not the end of the world for business, it just frustrates a certaina mount of fans. If these guys wont fight they will only limit their careers. If Dan Hardy were to beat GSP (I know) then Paul Daley would have to accept his career can't move forward.
These guys either fight or they accept that whoever gets to the title first will get all the glory, until someone else beats them. I don't see the dynamics of MMA gyms changing, so it's basically a case of fight or just sit around waiting.
The Machida/Silva scenario is an odd one, I don't expect it to happen too often.