In the past 24 hours, renowned trainer Greg Jackson has been the target of a ton of criticism including being publicly labeled as a “sport-killer” and “weirdo” by irate UFC President Dana White. The outrage surrounding Jackson stems from his decision to advise light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to decline a short-notice clash with Chael Sonnen. Jones’ action ultimately resulted in the company making the unprecedented move of cancelling UFC 151, setting off a storm of anger in the MMA community.
Jackson took some time to give his thoughts on the situation in an interview with MMAWeekly where he didn’t appear to be upset about the public’s reaction, offering up staunch support of his star student while also explaining his reason for telling Jones to turn the fight down.
“Chael is in a great position in that he’d been training with Dan Henderson for this fight, getting him ready, and he’s in shape. He knows the plan on what they’re gonna do to get around Jon. So he’s ready to go. It’s not like he’s stepping off the couch and into a fight. So taking a fight of that caliber with a guy that’s ready, on three days notice, for a world championship, without any time to prepare, is just not professional to me,” stated Jackson, adding, “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.”
The accomplished coach also revealed he was never given the impression Jones’ removal from the show would result in the event being axed, though even if he had it doesn’t appear as though Jackson would have felt any differently.
“I don’t think I would’ve changed my opinion about it. That still doesn’t sound like a good idea at all,” said Jackson. “I was giving my opinion on if that was a good fight or not. Sonnen is no joke. He’s a great, great fighter.”
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED