In just over two years, featherweight Damon “The Leech” Jackson has gone from virtually no MMA experience to becoming one of Texas’ top young prospects with seven straight finishes to start off his career.
As Jackson explained to MMAWeekly.com, once he graduated college and began fighting, things have been moving at a breakneck pace.
“Ever since (graduation) I’ve been non-stop, every two months having a fight, just staying busy and trying to get thing going,” he said. “My career so far has been constantly learning and working on new things to mix up everything.”
That’s not to say everything has gone swimmingly. Jackson admits that while he’s displayed a lot of versatility in the gym, during fights he’s reverted to his wrestling base more often than not.
“There’s not been one fight that I haven’t felt like I needed to use my wrestling,” said Jackson. “I haven’t had one fight where I wasn’t worried that if I didn’t get it to the ground if I was going to be able to compete with whomever I was facing.
“I feel comfortable on my feet in the gym doing sparring, but it seems like when it comes to fight time, I want to do the smartest thing and try to get it down as soon as possible and end it the easiest way possible. I feel like I haven’t shown my full potential because I do so much better in the gym. Hopefully I can come out and show what I’m capable of in fighting.”
Jackson (7-0) will get his first opportunity of 2014 to showcase his skills in a feature bout on the Feb. 21 edition of Legacy FC against fellow up-and-comer Hunter Tucker (6-1) in a fight that could very well determine the future of the promotion’s 145-pound weight class.
“He’s a smart fighter,” Jackson said of Tucker. “He trains at (Greg) Jackson’s, and a lot of those guys fight smart and do what they have to do to win.
“I feel like he’s kind of calm and waits back for his opponent to mess up. He’s a very good counter-striker, so I’m looking out for that. I’m going to give him plenty of pressure. I’m going to use my wrestling and do what I do best and stay in his face the whole time and see where it goes from there.”
Should Jackson get past Tucker, his next goal is simple, claim the Legacy 145-pound championship and go from there.
“My main goal is beating Hunter Tucker, but after that, my next goal is to get that featherweight belt,” he said. “Whoever I have to fight, I want that Legacy featherweight belt before the summer is up.
“I’m up for whatever comes after that. If I have to defend my belt or do whatever to get my name out there, that’s one thing I’m willing to do, just constantly fight and keep my name out there.”