Prominent MMA Coach Greg Jackson Addresses His Critics

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 30:  Mixed martial arts trainer Greg Jackson holds the Coach of the Year award at the Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards 2011 at The Pearl concert theater at the Palms Casino Resort November 30, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Matt SaccaroContributor IIIJanuary 8, 2013

Famed MMA coach Greg Jackson doesn't care what you think about him or his stratagems. He's in the business of winning and coaching, not pleasing your or anyone else, including UFC president Dana White. 

"I think it's been popular (to bash Jackson-Winkeljohn) for the past five years," he told MMAjunkie.com. "I think that comes with success. I think if you have a lot of success, there are going to be people that don't like what you do."

Jackson is correct. He hasn't been the most popular figure in the sport, especially since UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre sought Jackson's tutelage and became a "boring" fighter who couldn't finish fights.

However, there are many other fighters under the Jackson-Winkeljohn banner who fans claim that Jackson "ruined.' For example, Jackson detractors use Clay Guida's nigh-unwatchable performance against Gray Maynard as evidence of what's sometimes called "The Greg Jackson Effect."

This supposed phenomenon is when an entertaining fighter starts training at Jackson's camp and then becomes a point-fighter who never attempts to finish and just seeks to game plan his way to a decision victory. 

Greg Jackson's image was further tarnished by the UFC 151 fiasco, where Jackson told UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones not to take a fight against Chael Sonnen on short notice, prompting the cancellation of the event.

Jackson tried to justify his advice to Jones by saying:

It was actually three days notice; it’s not eight days notice because you don’t train the last week of a fight camp. That’s when you do media and weight cutting; there’s no real training going on there. When I was asked if fighting Sonnen for a world title on three days notice was a smart idea, I said no.

UFC president Dana White, however, wasn't buying it. He referred to Greg Jackson as "a [expletive] sport killer", among other nasty things.

But Jackson doesn't put too much stock in the opinions of others. "People don't have to agree with my decisions either, but they are not in my position. They don't have to deal with things I deal with. They can disagree with what I say, but I believe in our team," he said. 

Disagree with his tactics all you want. What difference does it make to him or his stable of athletes? He'll keep coaching and his fighters will keep winning. 


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