When looking back on his 2019, UFC bantamweight Montel Jackson sees both the good and the bad in the year, and feels like he’s become a better fighter for it.
While the highlight of 2019 was Jackson’s sole fight, a unanimous decision win over Andre Soukhamthath at UFC 236 in April, having only one bout during the year was somewhat of a letdown.
“It couldn’t have played out any better, I should say,” said Jackson. “Looking back going through trials and tribulations will only make for a better year this year (in 2020).
“I think I performed pretty well (against Soukhamthath). Watching the tape there are areas that I could have taken advantage of, but I thought it was a good fight for me.”
Finding the good with the bad is something that Jackson does with all facets of his career. In particular he notes that if he was only looking for the negatives in his performances it would be more a detriment than a motivator when it comes to improvement.
“I think I see a line between the good and the bad,” said Jackson. “You can’t have one without the other. If I’m too self-critical it would just make me crazy, so I try to keep a good balance. Overall the emphasis is on improving, good or bad things, and better execution of those things while in a fight.”
On Saturday in Raleigh, N.C., Jackson (8-1) will look to pick up his third win in a row when he faces Felipe Colares (9-1) in a bantamweight preliminary bout at UFC on ESPN+ 24.
“I’ve just got to go out there and execute,” Jackson said. “That’s it. Forget the game plan, forget all that stuff, just go out there and execute. Whatever it is that’s in front of me, wherever the fight goes, I need to execute and take advantage of anything (Colares is) giving me.”
For Jackson, where to go next with his career in 2020 could very well be determined by the outcomes of other fights in the featherweight division and who finds themselves positioned where in the rankings.
“They just had a couple of fights last weekend and the week before my fight, so by the time I fight the division might be in a toss-up. So I’ll just wait and see where the dice roll, and then I make a call out and go from there,” said Jackson.