5 times friends fought each other in the UFC
Friendships are put on hold when there's gold to fight for.
UFC President Dana White said it best - "MMA is not a team sport". This is isn't completely true, considering that almost all fighters have a team of coaches, nutritionists, therapists and sparring partners to help them prepare for a fight. But when the octagon door closes, it's a duel to the death between two warriors and though a fighter's corner may be yelling instructions from the sidelines, it's only through their own strength that they remain the last one standing.
So what happens when two friends face each other in the octagon? Is there a brief and violent interlude in their camaraderie? Does that person become just another hurdle to cross on the path to gold? In the case of these fighters, that's just what happened:
#5 Tyson Griffin vs Evan Dunham
In 2010, Evan Dunham and Tyson Griffin were training partners at Xtreme Couture Gym in Las Vegas when they were offered a fight against each other. It's always a sticky situation, but Griffin and Dunham agreed to the bout after making sure the other had no reservations. Dunham, who had just 3 UFC fights under his belt and was the newer member of the gym, deferred to Griffin, a veteran who was going into his 10th UFC bout.
Dunham would win the back and forth bout by split decision and the loss would mark the beginning of Griffin's decline. Griffin, who had won 7 of his last 9 fights and earned as many performance bonuses, lost 6 of his next 8 fights.
He retired in 2014. After 3 losses to big names in Raphael Dos Anjos, Donald Cerrone and Edson Barboza, Evan Dunham rebounded with 4 wins. His last bout, against Beneil Dariush ended in a draw.