Greg Jackson (left) file photo: Jeff Sherwood | Sherdog.com
Greg Jackson’s camp has been up against Dan Hardy before.
In March, the trainer cornered Georges St. Pierre against Hardy, who lost a unanimous decision but took the UFC 170-pound champion the distance. Jackson said he learned a “little bit” while coaching cageside during the bout. Undoubtedly he’s shared that knowledge with Carlos Condit, another Jackson-trained welterweight who fights Hardy on Saturday at UFC 120.
“Georges and Carlos are very different fighters with kind of different skill sets,” Jackson said Monday during an episode of “The Savage Dog Show” on the Sherdog Radio Network. “Dan Hardy has also improved as well, so it’s going to be a very different fight than the Georges fight. You always learn when you’re in the corner, win or lose, against somebody. Without giving too much away, I did learn some stuff. I also learned that wow, [Hardy] is one tough guy. Geez Louise, you just couldn’t get him out of there. Lots of respect for his toughness. It’s going to be a great, great fight because Carlos is tough as well.”
Perhaps no performance better illustrates Condit’s toughness than his June win over Rory MacDonald at UFC 115. After dropping the first two rounds and absorbing plenty of punishment, Condit stormed back in the third and forced a stoppage with only seven seconds remaining.
Jackson called the comeback one of his all-time favorite moments in coaching. He told Condit what he had to do in the final round, and Condit did it. Now Jackson believes the 26-year-old has turned another corner in his career.
“I really think he has. I think he’s getting better and better every day in training,” Jackson said. “He’s evolving more and more, and I hope he fights like he’s been sparring … because he’s just been looking amazing.”
Condit will likely need another strong showing to best Hardy, who will have the support of his fellow countrymen at the O2 Arena in London. Jackson explained that it’s critical Condit set a good pace early.
“That’s number one,” Jackson said. “Dan Hardy always comes in in tremendous shape. He’s so passionate. He gets in there and he’s smiling at you when he gets hit. … Carlos may have to make sure he sets a high pace early. Sometimes Carlos gets a slow pace early on, kind of like [Donald Cerrone], and then turns it on at the end. What we’ve really been working, like we did with [Cerrone] for his last fight, is just really turn it on from the get-go. That doesn’t mean run at him like a wild man, but set a high pace early.”
A fighter like Hardy might try to match a quickened tempo, resulting in a bout that fans are bound to enjoy.
“Those are the kinds of fights that are great,” Jackson said. “You have two awesome fighters going at it, and it’s going to be a great war.”
Check out the full interview (beginning at 1:29:30) with Jackson, who also discussed the Michael Bisping-Yoshihiro Akiyama main event and why he had to keep telling Donald Cerrone to “not go nuts” before his recent match against Jamie Varner.