Looking back over the development as a fighter over the course of his first six years of MMA, featherweight Damon Jackson feels like the biggest area he’s learned has been in the transition game.
Having always had a solid grappling base, Jackson has worked hard to develop his stand-up as well, but more importantly it’s being to flow from one to the other that he has taken the most interest in.
“I’ve definitely been trying to piece together my boxing and wrestling together better instead of focusing on my wrestling all the time and putting myself in bad positions,” Jackson told MMAWeekly.com. “I definitely feel I’ve showed it a bit in my last three or four fights.
“I’m not going to turn into a stand-up guy, but I want to put together some combos that lead a little better into takedowns. I don’t want to look like I’m just trying to take it to the ground – I do feel comfortable on my feet – but I’m just so comfortable on the ground that there’s really no point to staying on the feet.”
Having competed in some of the biggest promotions in MMA, Jackson has seen and done just about everything in his career. At the same time he’s still as driven now as he’s ever been and sees no end in sight.
“I would love to fight forever,” said Jackson. If I ever started to decline or put myself in positions where I’m out there and taking damage for nothing, I might quit. But I want to compete at the highest level and I want to fight the best guys.
“I truly want to win and finish guys. When I’m not finishing guys and feeling right, I’ll start looking at calling it quits. I work all the time and I’m always training and getting ready for the next, so at this time I don’t have any thoughts towards calling it quits.”
At LFA 47 this Friday in Dallas, Texas, Jackson (15-2-1) will look to take another step towards the next level when he faces Nate Jennerman (12-3) in a 145-pound championship main event.
“I’m going to come at him and get in his face,” Jackson said of Jennerman. “I think he’ll resort to takedowns in the end. I never saw him being super offensive with his takedowns, and he does have some good defensive submissions.
“He didn’t do well when Bobby Moffett was in his face and taking him down and holding him down, so that’s something I’ll take advantage of for sure at some point. But I’m going to be in his face the whole time. Just like every fight I’ve had, I’ll go forward and will be looking for a finish as soon as possible.”
While a return to the UFC would be preferable to Jackson, for him the most important thing is to face the toughest competition and not be ducked by anyone for any reason.
“There are too many guys nowadays who don’t take a fight when it’s not perfect for them,” said Jackson. “Very rarely do you go into a fight and you’re 100% ready. You always have something going on all the time in life. I feel like you’ve got to step it up a notch and put on a show because that’s what you’re there for.”