(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."