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> Monday, April 12th, 2010 > Sports > Jackson fighters losing edge to finish off opponents
Jackson fighters losing edge to finish off opponents
Click here to read more Interrobang articles written by Trent Williams
Published: Monday, April 12th, 2010
Typically I donít like to take digs at fighters or trainers for that matter because quite frankly Iím jealous of what they do and how skilled and passionate they are about the sport. At this time though the question needs to be asked if Greg Jackson, the trainer behind the scenes for such great fighters as Georges St. Pierre, Rashad Evans, Shane Carwin, Nate Marquardt and Keith Jardine just to name a few, is preparing his fighters to not lose rather than to win? Thereís no doubt Jackson knows how to prepare fighters to win their fights, but is his philosophy changing?
The most recent example would be Georges St. Pierre defeating Dan Hardy at UFC 111. He won a decision victory, his fourth fight in a row not finishing his opponent. Though GSP tried on several occasions to submit Hardy (and kudos to Hardy for being a tough SOB and not tapping), his main strategy was once again to take down his opponent, grind and pound him out. Sure, this plays right into St. Pierreís strength as a great wrestler and ground fighter, and Hardy does hit like a truck but for 25 minutes the entertainment and novelty of watching GSP lay on Hardy and hit him wears off.
Another one of Jacksonís fighters, Rashad Evans did essentially the same thing to Thiago Silva in his last fight; where he grinded out a victory, but not in an overly exciting way.
We all know that styles make fights, but good stylistic matchups are supposed to make exciting fights. Fighters these days are better rounded than ever before and have the skill sets to fight on their feet or on the ground.
Jackson has done a masterful job at teaching his fighters to win. Overall fighters that go through his camp have a winning percentage of 81 per cent. In fact, Jackson gained accolades in 2009 as having the best gym in MMA and he was named the best coach.
While we know Jackson can win, itís the style in which his fighters do so that remains the big question. What is more important to a fighter these days, actually winning the fight, or just not losing it? For those who think that those two are the same thing, you are sadly mistaken because that could not be further from the truth.
Fighters like BJ Penn and Lyoto Machida, when they went out and were challenging for the title, they took it. They beat the current champ in such a fashion that there was no debate, they were the clear cut winner in those fights.
The blame is not meant to be pointed at only Jackson, but there have been a lot of rumblings about how his fighters perform inside the octagon. No one wants to get injured during a fight, though it can happen, and sure everyone wants to win. But at some point the thought has to come across that this is still a very competitive combative sport and these guys are still out there to fight and to destroy their opponent, not just do enough work to win.