On his initial decision to train with Greg Jackson: “I was watching his professionalism with Georges St. Pierre and a few other fighters, and I thought ‘man, if I could get all that brilliant energy pointed towards me, they probably could do something really special,’ and that’s what they’ve done I think…who knows what would have happened if I decided to [train] somewhere else, but Jackson’s seemed like the place for me. I remember our first meeting, they were talking about respect, and working hard, and family, and things like that, and that was something that drew me towards them.”
Not sure if was intentional, but Jake Shields‘s fingers introduced themselves to Georges St. Pierre‘s left eyeball on Saturday night, causing an injury that’s still bugging the UFC welterweight champ. Greg Jackson spoke to Sherdog after UFC 129, and let it be known that GSP’s performance might have been more impressive if not for that poke:
“Georges’s eye was pretty badly injured — he told me that in between rounds — and Georges is a very timing-based fighter, and so when one of your eyes is injured your depth-perception gets off pretty significantly and it’s very hard for you to time the shots because it’s hard to see where they are coming. I felt he did really, really well considering he fought with one eye, I’m really proud of him for fighting through that. We’ll try to get better and do better the next time, but I really feel the injury played a significant role…he was just missing a little bit, he was just off a little bit on some of those big shots, and I feel like if he would have had both eyes he could have landed those shots and could have done a lot more damage.”
Responding to the argument that GSP should have finished Jake anyway, you know, because he’s so awesome and Jake Shields sucks, Jackson didn’t mince words:
According to MMAWeekly, Strikeforce is working hard to book Sarah D’Alelio as the return opponent for MMA superstar Gina Carano. Though not all parties involved have signed off on the bout at the time of the report, the match would take place on the main card of Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum, June 18th at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas. Fighting out of Olympia, Washington, D’Alelio holds a record of 4-1 (all wins by stoppage), and most recently suffered her first loss in a decision against Julie Kedzie at a Jackson’s MMA Series event in December.
Greg Jackson has been overseeing Carano’s training as she prepares to come back from a 22-month layoff, and so far, he has nothing but nice things to say: “We don’t have any 145ers, and she’s really sweet and really nice. So, those are the things you look for…She’s really talented, she works hard, she does what’s expected, and I’m impressed…As I get to know her more as far as helping her out for the fight, we’ll get to a better sense of it. But, she definitely has all the talent and all the potential in the world.”
(A picture says a thousand words…like, “Why is there a SPIKE TV camera man’s reflection in the windshield of that car?”)
When Jon Jones unbelievable story of chasing down and capturing a thief in the hours prior to his UFC 128 championship bout with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua made the rounds, it seemed like an unbelievable story. Well, at least one source claims that the incident was a staged PR move to designed to get the UFC light heavyweight and the sport of MMA more mainstream press.
Thanks to the Zuffa creative team, who are said to have cooked up the plot to the fake robbery that took place Saturday afternoon outside of in New Jersey park, Jones was invited to appear on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night to talk about his incredible crime fighting tale.
(“So, we can put you down for two boxes of Thin Mints, one box of Samoas and one box of Thank U Berry Much, then?” Pic: SB Nation)
Have a conversation with any of the top trainers in mixed martial arts – say, a Bob Cook, Trevor Wittman, or even Cesar Gracie – and it’s almost guaranteed that you will walk away struck by their incredible levelheadedness and otherworldly patience. Nowhere is that commitment to sanity and likability more evident than in Greg Jackson who – let’s face it – must be a goddamned saint to put up with everybody else in this sport’s crazy bullshit on day-to-day basis. Seriously, this dude seems far too reasonable to even be involved in MMA.
Don’t know about y’all, but I already miss the days when the Rashad Evans/Jon Jones situation was merely awkward, and not openly hostile. The gloves finally came off yesterday when Evans gave an interview to BloodyElbow in which he told everyone what he really thinks about the new UFC light-heavyweight champion, and reveals that he never wanted to train with Jones in the first place. Some highlights…
On Jones’s change of heart before the Shogun fight: “I mean it’s one thing to say something in an interview but the least you could have picked up the phone and been like, ‘man I did an interview today and they kind of put me on the spot with a rough question and I answered it this way.’ At least give me the heads up so that way I know and not look at it if he’s Judas or something. You know who Judas is? That interview was some backstabbing s**t but now it’s like whatever because now I know the game he is playing. Then for Greg to sit back and say he doesn’t want to have anything to do with it….why not? You f**kin’ created the situation. Be his coach and be in his corner. That’s what you want so do it. I don’t care if he coaches against me. It doesn’t even matter.”
[Ed. note: Yeah, I think a guy with a New Testament scripture inked on his chest is pretty familiar with Judas. In all of the verbal-trash that will be slung around in the lead-up to this fight, this is probably the line that will stick with — and motivate — Jones the most.]
Less than 365 days ago, newly-crowned UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones appeared on MMAScraps Radio and told Pat Barry, who was then the co-host of the show, that there was no way, no how he would ever fight a teammate, especially not “his brother Rashad Evans.”
Jones’ change of heart has caused a rift in Albuquerque which caused Evans to move his camp from Team Jackson to Imperial Athletics in Boca Raton Florida, where he will train with displaced former members of American Top Team who have set up shop there including Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante, Jorge Santiago and the Villefort brothers.
In the interview, Jones backed Evans recent revelation that he had to agree to never fight any of his Jackson teammates as a condition of joining the revered fight team — a clause he later publicly reneged on prompting the former champ to accept the offer to face his heir apparent and former training partner. Interestingly, even when Barry tried at length to convince Jones that fighting a teammate wasn’t a big deal, “Bones” didn’t waver in his stance that it simply wouldn’t happen. He even went so far as to say that if pressed by the UFC to fight Evans or Keith Jardine, he would find a way out of the bout even if it meant faking an injury.
Check out the transcript of the interview after the jump.
For being one of MMA’s more tried-and-true institutions, there is always something a little awkward about those postfight confrontations in the cage between champion and challenger. Emotions are running high and the heat of the moment has a way of testing fighters’ grasp of the English language, spawning hilarious internet memes and sometimes even sparking enormous, embarrassing brawls. Still, we’re not sure our sport has ever seen an in-ring altercation as hard-to-watch as Jon Jones and Rashad Evans at UFC 128. Both dudes looked more like they were entering into a suicide pact than agreeing to face-off in a professional sporting contest as they mumbled halfhearted “trash” talk into Joe Rogan’s microphone and then sealed their impending friend-vs.-friend fight with the world’s least enthusiastic handshake.