When looking back on fights, it’s not unusual for an athlete to be critical of their own performance, but sometimes it’s a lack of effort on their opponent’s behalf that can be the source of most displeasure.
Such is the case with Damon Jackson and his first round submission win over Eliazar Rodriguez at LFA 16 in July. What Jackson was hoping for was a strong showing against a game opponent, but what he got he feels is a win over an unwilling fighter.
“I was really surprised how unprepared (Rodriguez) was for the fight,” Jackson told MMAWeekly.com. “He just looked like he was not in shape or ready to go. It really made me mad that he came in like that.
“He just didn’t have a whole lot of fight in him. I was really motivated to come back in and fight after that loss (to Kevin Aguilar), and it didn’t seem like he had the same level of motivation. I was really annoyed when the fight was over. I couldn’t even be happy about it at all.”
Jackson (12-2-1) now turns his attention towards a rematch of a bout he won in 2013 when he takes on Luis Luna (14-6) in the 155-pound main event of LFA 28 on Friday 8 in Dallas.
“This is a rematch and everybody knows there’s a little bit of a grudge there,” said Jackson. “(Luna is) kind of a punk to me. He’s a school bully that never goes away. He’s always talking and saying something and trying to rile someone up.”
In the four years since their initial match, Jackson acknowledges that both he and Luna have developed more as fighters, but it won’t change the outcome from what happened the first time around.
“We’ve obviously grown a lot since we’ve last fought,” Jackson said. “The last time we fought, it was short notice on my end, and I was in the middle of moving, but I think it will be a similar outcome. I’ll get him down to the ground and I will finish him.”
Should Jackson pick up his fourth win in his last five fights, he could place himself in good position for an LFA title shot or a return to the UFC, but due to the uncertain landscape in MMA, he’s just focusing on staying active in 2018.
“There’s no promise on making it to the UFC, no promise on who is getting (an LFA) title fight,” said Jackson. “People get hurt all the time. People back out of things all the time. You never know what’s going to happen in MMA. It’s a crazy sport. Right now I’m taking it fight by fight.
“I might make the move to lightweight (from featherweight) more permanent. I’ll see how my performance is, and we’ll go from there as far as what weight class I’ll be at and what my next move is.”