After suffering his lone loss to close out 2016 to Raush Manfio at Titan FC 41 in September, lightweight prospect Demarques Jackson was able to right his ship in 2017 with victories in both his bouts so far.
Against Paulo Silva in May, and versus Luciano dos Santos in August, both for Titan FC, Jackson was able to pick up the finish in under three minutes and earn his way back towards possible title contention with the promotion.
“Both my last two fights I ended them both in the first round,” Jackson told MMAWeekly.com. “The first one was a TKO and the next one was a submission. It was pretty much me growing as a fighter. I feel like with my training partners and my trainers, and the longer I’m around these guys I’m better for it.”
Having been a pro for three years, Jackson feels like he’s been able to make a marked improvement since he first debuted. Jackson gives all the credit to the people around him for making such leaps.
“Now I feel like I’ve got better every year,” said Jackson. “From me being older and me getting more experience and training in MMA in the different arts, having my coaches around me, the training partners I have, the people around (have helped me improve).
“I feel like both on my feet and on my ground I haven’t show all of what I can do. Especially when it comes to me grappling, I haven’t shown a lot of my grappling. On my feet I feel I can get some better finishes than I have.
Jackson (7-1) will look to cap off his year on a winning streak when he takes on Beibit Nazarov (14-2) in a main card lightweight bout at Titan FC 47 on Friday in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
“He looks really well-rounded,” Jackson said of Nazarov. “He looks like he has really solid stand-up, even though most of his wins are by submission. I’ve got show up on fight night, well-rounded on my feet and on the ground, bring my A-game and get my hand raised.”
Jackson hopes a win over a veteran like Nazarov will prove he is ready for the next step of his career, whether it is a Titan title shot or a move up to a promotion like the UFC.
“This is a big fight,” said Jackson. “(Nazarov) is 14-2. When you look at a lot of guys in organizations, they don’t have a record as good as his. I figure that will be the key.
“I feel like he’s on the radar of the big promotions. I beat this guy and hopefully I’ll get the call. Maybe I’ll get a short-notice call when they need a guy to step in.”