Coach Greg Jones does not like having to prepare Gilbert Burns for their former teammate Kamaru Usman, but he sees no other choice heading into UFC 258.
Jones, the head wrestling coach at Sanford MMA, caught up with Fightful to rank Usman's UFC opponents in our tier list series (watch above). During the conversation, Jones confessed training to derail Usman is uncomfortable.
"From a personal standpoint, I'm not going to say it's hard but it's uncomfortable," Jones admits. "From a professional standpoint, it's not even something I think about."
The pair worked together from Usman's UFC debut against Hayder Hassan in 2015, all the way until the welterweight champion split from Sanford MMA ahead of the Burns fight.
"Whenever this fight was originally booked [July 2020] we got negative COVID tests the day before we left for Fight Island. That was my deciding factor, really, personally, I don't want to do this but if we want to do this right, and run this gym and run this business like we need to, then professionally I have no choice," he adds. "It's kind of the balance that we're all dealing with. Not just the coaches, but the fighters too. This sports not that big."
UFC 258 takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, February 13. The pay-per-view card is headlined by a UFC welterweight title fight between champion Usman and top contender Burns. Keep up with Fightful for all your pre-fight, live and post-fight coverage.