Dana White has been awfully critical of Greg Jackson and his fighters as of late. He thinks the Jackson camp takes a “safety first” approach to fighting, and he’s told practically everyone with a microphone and recorder that he doesn’t like it.
Naturally, this hasn’t sat well with Greg Jackson. He’s calling BS, and he’s bringing numbers to back it up.
“Here’s a quick stat for you. So there’s been 22 [UFC events] this year? We had 12 bonuses so far this year,” Jackson said in a phone interview. “So one out of every two, one of my fighters got Submission of the Night, Knockout of the Night, or Fight of the Night.”
“We sat down and did the math after we heard that,” Jackson said. “He wants to say there’s a consistency? Okay, let’s look at statistical consistencies. Let’s look at Jon Jones, who has finished every fight with me in the first round, except for that Matt Hamill one, which would have been a first-round stoppage anyway if he hadn’t thrown that illegal elbow.
“Let’s look at Carlos Condit, who had Fight of the Night and Knockout of the Night. Even people on the undercard who people don’t really know yet. Kyle Noke, two finishes, both in the second round. Almost everybody on our team finishes consistently. There’s no fact. Everybody’s just making stuff up.”
The last Jackson-trained fighter Dana White publicly criticized was Nate Marquardt. He called him a “choker” for not pressing the action against Yushin Okami with a UFC middleweight title shot on the line. Marquardt was naturally bothered by it, but says Dana was right.
“After the fight and in recent days, Dana White has publicly criticized me for being a “choker” and not being aggressive enough. While Dana’s comments were difficult to hear, I firmly believe that I am one of the best fighters in the world and will one day be the UFC middleweight champion.
“However in hindsight Dana is right – in order to live up to my full potential and realize my championship dreams I need to be more aggressive and showcase my inherent killer instinct. I need to stalk my opponents, impose my will and finish fights on a consistent basis.”
Of course, Dana also ripped into Marquardt’s corner for failing to convey a sense of urgency heading into the third and final round. Jackson however says that’s entirely untrue and Dana wasn’t listening to what they actually said.
“He didn’t hear what I was telling Nate Marquardt. Me and Trevor were screaming. Listen to the audio. At one point in the third round, I yelled at Nate very clearly, ‘Nate, you have a minute and a half to knock this guy out; you must get a knockout.’ As clear as day, and I asked Nate if he remembered me yelling that. He said, ‘Yeah, I heard you say that.’ I was screaming at him. I thought we had lost the first two rounds.”
Interestingly, Jackson says he was only bothered by the criticism because it came from Dana White. He doesn’t appreciate essentially being told he sucks by his boss when he’s made tremendous contributions to the UFC and MMA over the years. And who could blame him? Sure, some of his fighters tend to turn in “boring” decisions, but for every lackluster performance from Georges St. Pierre, Rashad Evans and Nate Marquardt, we get a blockbuster performance from Jon Jones, Leonard Garcia, Carlos Condit and Diego Sanchez. It seems to me it’s tied more to each individual’s fighting styles and the opponents they’re matched up with more than an overly conservative team-wide approach to game planning.