Josh Gross underscores the keys to Greg Jackson's successful strategizing:
An ideal counter argument to those who claim mixed martial arts is all physical, Jackson's cerebral approach to fighting has formed the basis for much of his success, including a burgeoning notoriety for razor-sharp strategies -- which he can make sound both esoteric and simple.
"Everything's tethered within physics and the structure of the techniques," Jackson said. "But you're playing within those structures ... you're doing different things and making them work for you."
Germane to any game plan Jackson engineers in his Albuquerque, N.M., gym is adaptability. Regardless of the degree to which fighters execute techniques, no matter how efficient their attacks, he believes little good can come from relying too heavily on even the most effective tactics.
"If you put your eggs in any psychological basket at that top level, saying that my 'ace in the whole' is this large thing, then it would be very hard for you to win because if that doesn't go your way, you don't have a plan b," he said. "It's more important to look at little things, which, of course, I can't divulge."
Even more than a set of neatly constructed blueprints will be the improvisational ability of Evans. Jackson and Evans certainly need alternatives should their forecasting about what's required to defeat Machida falls through, but there's only so much one can do to connect strategy to operations against the Brazilian. What will ultimately prove more fruitful is whether Evans can make adjustments on the fly that neither he nor Jackson determined they'd need ahead of time. There is peril in immediate adaption, but Machida is an opponent with impeccable timing that's too technically defensive to be susceptible to a "complete" strategy.