5 Things You Might Not Know About Damon Jackson

By Brian Knapp Oct 8, 2021

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Damon Jackson has not yet carved out a clearly defined role in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s cutthroat featherweight division, and at the age of 33, time appears to be of the essence.

Jackson will try to rebound from his latest setback when he confronts American Top Team’s Charles Rosa in a UFC Fight Night 194 prelim on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. He has rattled off nine wins across his past 12 outings. However, Jackson last appeared at UFC on ESPN 19, where he was the unwitting victim in an Ilia Topuria knockout on Dec. 5. He has never suffered back-to-back defeats.

As Jackson moves ever closer to his three-round battle with Rosa, here are five things you might not know about him:

1. He shares a connection with a basketball hall of famer.


Jackson was born in Durant, Oklahoma, a city of some 16,000 people located near the south-central border with Texas. It is home to Southeastern Oklahoma State University—the school that produced five-time NBA champion Dennis Rodman.

2. A fire familiar to many forged his identity.


“The Leech” was a star in the singlet in high school and wrestled collegiately at Missouri Valley College, an NAIA institution in Marshall, Missouri, where he was an All-American in 2012 and placed fifth nationally. Jackson graduated with a degree in exercise science.

Sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream the UFC, PFL, Dana White’s Contender Series and “The Ultimate Fighter” live on your smart TV, computer, phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.

3. His mode of operation has become clear.


Jackson owns 14 submission victories as a professional mixed martial artist, 13 involving the neck: nine rear-naked chokes, three arm-triangle chokes and one guillotine choke. His one outlier was a second-round armbar submission of Anselmo Luis Luna Jr. at a regional event in Texas in 2013.

4. He climbs ladders.


The Fortis MMA export remains one of only four men to capture the Legacy Fighting Alliance featherweight championship. Kevin Aguilar, Justin Gonzales and Bruno Souza are the others. Jackson laid claim to the interim title with a second-round knockout of Nate Jennerman in the LFA 47 headliner on Aug. 10, 2018. He was promoted to undisputed champion a little more than three months later but never defended the crown. Jackson vacated his position to sign with the Professional Fighters League in 2019.

5. Rarely does he involve the judges.


Jackson has gone the distance only twice in his 24-fight career. He fought to a majority draw with Levan Makashvili at UFC on Fox 18 in January 2016 and took a unanimous decision from Levi Mowles at Legacy Fighting Championship 61 in October 2016. In fact, nearly half (11) of Jackson’s bouts—eight of his wins, two of his losses and a no contest with Rony Mariano Bezerra—have ended inside one round. Advertisement
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