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Greg Jackson Refutes Dana White’s Claims That His Fighters Are Boring and That He and His Coaches Employ Strange Strategies

(Video courtesy TheFightFix)

In the interview above that was conducted after Nate Marquardt‘s somewhat uninspired UFC 123 loss to Yushin Okami, Dana White spoke with CSN’s The Fight Fix about the conservative style of Team Jackson fighters.

According to the UFC president, Greg Jackson seems to take normally exciting fighters and make them cautious, unexciting round winners — a trend that fans and pundits alike have voiced their bitter distaste about ad-nauseum recently.

"I have a lot of respect for Greg Jackson. It’s not like I don’t like him or I’m trying to say something bad about him, but there’s a pattern there. The game plans they come up with and a lot of the corner work is very weird. You’ll see guys who are traditionally exciting fighters, but when they go to the Greg Jackson camp they become safety first fighters," White explained. "Why wouldn’t you tell him ‘go for broke in this third round? This is a close fight. At the end of the day, my opinion means nothing. I’m not their corner man. I’m not the trainer. I’m just the promoter. I’m just being honest. There’s obviously some consistency there with the Jackson camp with the safety first."

White’s comments prompted Marquardt to agree with the Baldfather’s claim that he is a choker when it comes to big fights and to vow that he will be more exciting in the future.

Here’s what he had to say about the matter to Fighters Only today:

"After the fight [with Okami] 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," Marquardt wrote in a statement to the UK-based website. "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.”

Well, unlike Marquardt, Greg Jackson isn’t making any apologies and has brought out some statistics to back his claim that White is simply blowing hot air.

Here’s what he told MMAFighting today:

"Here’s a quick stat for you. So there’s been 22 this year? We had 12 bonuses so far this year. 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. 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."

As far as White’s claims that Jackson and his fellow cornermen are not doing their jobs properly, he says that is simply a false perception of reality.

"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."

Jackson has shrugged off similar claims about his camp being overly conservative in the past but he says that when a high profile figure like White started to criticize his work and his team, he decided enough was enough.

"It didn’t bug me until Dana said it. Fans are fans, but Dana said that and, you know, I’ve worked really hard in his organization. If you look at my stats, they’re insane. Imagine you give your life to something and then your boss comes up and says, ‘Man, you suck.’ Well, wait a minute, just this year alone, half your bonuses have gone to my guys. So what are you talking about?"

Looking at the stats — something Jackson has been known to pour over when calculating game plans and analyzing his fighters strengths and weaknesses, he says it felt good to know that his claims were not unfounded like White’s.

"It was a morale booster for me, anyway. It’s nice to have cold, hard facts sometimes." 

Cagepotato Comments

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Angry Whopper- December 1, 2010 at 2:14 pm
DW, stfu. Serious. Go do a vblog where you drop the F-bomb about 30 times in ten minutes. Christ, dude.

If you need to criticize someone, go and lambast BJ Penn for being one of the greatest natural talents in the sport [ever] for having fluctuating motivation that makes him brutally inconsistent. There's something you can talk about.

Or maybe criticize yourself for shoving Lesnar into the top position waaaaaaaaaayy before he was ready to be there. As evidenced by the time he was completely dismantled by the first true contender he faced.

Oh, and btw: the only time anyone anywhere wants to hear/see anything about Tito is when he gets dropped into a pit of molten lava. Molten steel will also do if there isn't a volcano handy.
RwilsonR- December 1, 2010 at 8:54 am
@ sbkbs - I could be wrong, but I read Greg Jackson's statement to mean that his fighters have been involved in 22 fights in the UFC so far this year. So he was saying they were over 50% for winning an award in each of the fights in which a Jackson fighter was involved.
Canadian Chronic- December 1, 2010 at 7:21 am

Hmmmm, never thought aboot the reaction from fans n media if DFW started to "influence" the regulatory bodies governing the sport. I agree that the solution is not cut n dry nor should the blame be leveled entirely at DFW, but, I do think he is in the best position to effect change that will help the sport grow.
sbkbs- November 30, 2010 at 11:59 pm
"Well, wait a minute, just this year alone, half your bonuses have gone to my guys. So what are you talking about?"

I'm talking about your incompetent math skills, and bullshit claims, Mr. Jackson. Your camp won awards at 12 of the 22 EVENTS. That does not mean you're taking home half of the awards, like you claim. There's been 66 awards given out, so your fighters actually account for 12/66 of all awards, or about 18.2%. There's been 93 participants (although some are duplicates) awarded, and 12 of 93 works out to be 12.9%.

Still impressive, but not nearly as astounding as 50% would have been.
RwilsonR- November 30, 2010 at 7:24 pm
^^^ I agree with you CC that Dana is in more of a position to change things than just about anyone, but unfortuately if he meddles with anything everyone will bitch about that, too. Imagine if Dana tried to influence the commissions for rule changes, and the media (I use the term loosely) uproar that would create about him coercing the regulating bodies. And if he simply provided the fighters more money and job securiity, I don't think that would make them take more chances. Look at what that did to Brandon Vera! And I truly believe that job security is provided by having an avid fan base.

I guess I was just trying to express that I don't think the cause of the problem is cut and dry, and neither is the solution.
MonkeyNuts- November 30, 2010 at 7:23 pm
Check and mate sir!
Canadian Chronic- November 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Yeah those guys are still around, but, what did those guys make on their last paycheck? And what did GSP pull in? Tremendous difference.

U make good points, but, DFW can make the changes that MOTIVATE a fighter to finish. If working real hard pays as well as taking it real easy, ppl gotta ask themselves, which route are u taking?

I work smart, not hard, and until I'm motivated to do different, I'm punching in at 10 and out at 3, with a long lunch and fridays off and collecting the same paycheck while I fuck around w/ tater nation. DFW can be the difference and he doesn't need anyones' permission to change the pay scale in "his" company. I think the ball is entirely in his court.

with our beady little eyes...
danomite- November 30, 2010 at 3:11 pm
I'm so glad that Greg Jackson basically used the exact same argument that I did when I heard Dana White say this crap. For some reason I just love it when people actually use facts to back up their statements.

denver_rolling- November 30, 2010 at 3:04 pm
lol, I like Dana's "My opinion doesn't matter" line. Yes, it doesn't matter. Unless I fire your ass.
RwilsonR- November 30, 2010 at 1:59 pm
Dammit Greg Jackson! Why do you have to let facts get in the way of a passionate argument?

Speaking of which, I have to respectfully disagree with Rex and Canadian Chronic that all this can be piled on top of Dana White's shoulders. CC, you failed to recognize that all of the fighters you mentioned as exciting have lost a decent amount of fights, but are still employed by the UFC. Chris Lytle, Sam Stout, and Spencer Fisher have all retained their jobs despite losses. Why? Because they are fan favorites. So maybe the fans are to blame for not fully getting behind Gerald Harris. Don't think those boos didn't factor into his release.

I'm not saying that Dana White and the UFC bear no responsibility in the "fight not to lose" scenario, but I think there is enough blame to go around. And sometimes things change and there is no person to directly and easily blame, even if we want there to be. Some of the blame is due to the natural evolution of the sport, and improvements in defense outpacing improvements in offense. Some of the blame falls on the fighters, who have forgotten that they ultimately answer to the fans. Some of the blame falls on the coaches, and conservative gameplans. Some of the blame falls on the fans, and their 'what have you done for me lately' attitude. Some of the blame falls on the commissions and the unified rules, and on the judging, and the reffing. Some of the blame certainly falls on Dana White for cutting someone like Gerald Harris, while keeping others who go on three fight losing streaks.

But, obviously, most of the blame should fall on Canada. I think there is even a song about that.
Nut Puncher 9000- November 30, 2010 at 1:46 pm
This entire argument is ridiculous. The fault lies in the judging criteria and over valuing the "boring" techniques (takedowns/ground control).
Dana needs to have a single conversation with JS. Only promise title shots to finishers/workers. Officially/publicly make it clear title shots will only be given to fighters that finish. After they see that is how it is then fighters will adjust. The UFC does not rank their fighters anyway. The world already recognizes the UFC as the premier MMA organization and it would not be difficult to push any fighter on their roster (on a UFC finishing streak) as being deserving of a title shot. As it stands the nature of EVERYONE'S top ten rankings are undeniably fickle at best and the current landscape of the top ten could be transformed fairly easily. Jon Jones for example, too green to get a title shot? Oh he needs more experience? Go watch badminton.
Dana needs to worry about changes he can actually make rather than point fingers at trainers/judges/etc for using the current system to their advantage. Placing winning but "boring" fighters on a permanent prelim holding pattern and handing a few title shots to green finishers is all it would take. With the dollars coming from me the fighters will get the point.
MorningwoodII- November 30, 2010 at 12:47 pm
Scamp may refer to:
A mischievous perhaps roguish person, especially a playful, impish youngster.

@smiledriver, I agree except for the impish part!! LOL!
MorningwoodII- November 30, 2010 at 12:43 pm
I also agree Jackson will not change his style until the UFC makes him by changing the criteria for winning fights.

to be mainstreamed and "the fastest growing sport" they had to implore the point system. This is why I somewhat miss the old days. of no time limit the fight goes until someone can't continue. Not plausible these days. But, I still miss it.
smiledriver- November 30, 2010 at 12:43 pm
MorningwoodII you are a scamp!

MorningwoodII- November 30, 2010 at 12:36 pm
When I hear a fighter signs with Jackson's camp. I feel the same way I feel when I hear Charlie Sheen has a new girl. They will soon be played out and hard to look at.
MorningwoodII- November 30, 2010 at 12:33 pm
I feel Jacksons fighters are all boring. But, I never thought of it from a DW's fault perspective. I agree, DW should pay bonuses to each fighter who finishes a fight.

whatever your to show pay is, pay them 4 times that if to finish. Instead he seems to implore his title shots to fighters who are exciting and punish those who aren't like Harris.

I agree that if you become champ you should get paid more to show. but, if you want Ko's then pay people to KO.

I like GSP but to me there's not much difference between him and Fitch in the past 2 years. One's called the pfp best fighter, the other is just called boring. To me they basically fight the same way. GSP does a bit more damage, but from an overall perspective it's take down, control. take down, control. take down, control....

831 Father- November 30, 2010 at 12:31 pm
Jackson is in the right, but his response is not unlike that one nerd everyone knew in high school or that one hardcore gamer on some forum who counter-attacks with a long-winded, giant-ass, detailed response with reference links everywhere.
Elentius- November 30, 2010 at 12:28 pm
Yeah blackbox, GSP never went for any subs and never made anyone like Penn quit after the 4th. He just lays there like Maynard.
ReX13- November 30, 2010 at 12:10 pm
Agree with Canadian Chronic and Get Off Me; this is a direct result of the UFC cutting fighters who lose fights.  It looks like he's realized the error and is trying to encourage exciting fighters, but White should really blame himself. 
Get Off Me- November 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm
@canadian chronic
Agreed and as I have said in the past, if Dana can pay Tito six figures, he could certainly give 30k for any fighter who wins by sub or ko, keep the kotn, sotn and fotn at 30-60k as usual, but it would be nice to see a guy get paid flat out for finishing a fight no matter what, win bonus is clearly not enough motivation as a guy making less than ten to show really just wants to make sure he wins and gets another shot in the UFC, the motivation to take a risk is non existant as sotn,fotn and kotn is at the discretion of D.W..
Get Off Me- November 30, 2010 at 11:55 am
Again...Greg Jackson is the Jacques Lemaire of MMA.
Jackson does not mastermind different gameplans so much as implores his fighters to fight a winning fight. I think Jackson understands what the judges score favourably in a fight and thus has his fighters try to be effective in those areas(takedown attempts and top control on the ground).
If BJJ was giving more consideration in a fight i.e. submission attempts from the bottom and guard control, Jackson would just be another trainer coaching a fighter.
Canadian Chronic- November 30, 2010 at 11:55 am
What the fuck is DFW bitchin about? Seriously? This is your fault muddrfuckr!! You pay champions regularly, how often does a fighter consistently take home FOTN/SOTN honors?? Unless yer Chris Lytle, most ppl get paid to win, not put on a exciting fight! Ask Sam Stout, Spencer Fisher, any of the guys who have put on some wars, check their paystub compared to GSP, big fuckin difference.

Really?? trying to blame the ppl who play the game instead of the dick that controls who plays and how often? Check yo'self fool
Canadian Chronic- November 30, 2010 at 11:50 am
@El Famous

you da burrito! too fuckin funny!
El Famous Burrito- November 30, 2010 at 11:46 am
Hit him with your stats!
blackboxmma- November 30, 2010 at 11:45 am
Dana should say what he means and just say that GSP is fucking boring and he needs to stop that lay and pray shit next month.