Greg Jackson praises the potential of Diego Brandao. | Photo: Wilson Fox
Greg Jackson was a happy man Saturday after “The Ultimate Fighter 14” Finale in Las Vegas.
The trainer watched two of his fighters, Diego Brandao and John Dodson, win the reality show’s featherweight and bantamweight competitions respectively. Coming off those victories, Jackson joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show” on Monday to discuss the future of both fighters and more.
On Brandao and Dodson: “I thought they both did a great job. I was really proud of my whole team. We kind of made history. No team has ever had both winners in one night. We also got to take home all three of the bonuses, and no team has ever done that.”
On the high expectations for Brandao after his impressive run on the show: “I’m just trying to make him the best he can be. … I don’t have any control over [expectations]. I just have control over what I can do. I guess I just focus there. I certainly hope he goes straight to the top. I love that kid.”
On Dodson’s win over T.J. Dillashaw: “He’s a real product of our school, and you can tell. He was in control of almost every fight that he fought and did very, very well in each and every one of them. There was high-, high-level striking stuff going on in that cage with him against his opponent. I watched it again and I was like, ‘Wow. He’s back kicking. He’s hitting with far left hooks while stepping right.’ It was just real high-level stuff, which is a lot of fun for me to watch him kind of flow at that level.”
On Brandao fighting in a high gear constantly: “We have several fighters like that, so I’m used to it. Trying to get it in control and make sure that it’s constantly positive is always a challenge. But that’s my job. I’m OK at it. I’m hoping to, over the next five or six fights, really get him so that he’s a little more technical and a little more in control. But he’s done very, very well so far. In most of his early [fights], he just didn’t really know MMA. He was very good in jiu-jitsu, but he didn’t have an MMA background. We’ve kind of turned that around, and he’s doing great now.”
On what Dodson needs to work on: “I want him to actually showcase more of what he can do. Here’s a guy that if you shoot a double leg on him, he does front flips over you. I’ve seen him do it in a fight. He jumps off cages. I really want to bring out his creativity a little more.”
On what Brandao needs to work on: “With Diego, obviously it’s going to be his timing and his rhythm, getting his shots in the right place at the right time. He got a little excited about his power and was kind of jumping into stuff and was wild and open. We’ll be tightening him up a little bit. He did make big improvements on staying calm and relaxed, but he was still kind of a little bit open. We’ll be working that.”
On Dodson’s portrayal on the show and how he is in real life: “He is a great kid. You go out and you are who you are for the show, but he’s one of the most loyal guys that I’ve got. He helps me run my school each and every day. He never asks anybody for anything. He’s always here to help his teammates.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:24:03).