UFC 125 Results: Coach Greg Jackson Has Big Night With Guida, Stann Wins

Greg Jackson is one of the most successful coaches in MMA. His fighters Georges St. Pierre, Rashad Evans, and Jon Jones are some of the best in the sport.

But Jackson is also frequently criticized for coaching his fighters to adopt conservative strategies that result in boring fights. His work with Brian Stann and Clay Guida at UFC 125 resulted in anything but boredom for fans. 

Both fighters have made dramatic improvements since they began working with Jackson. 

Stann used angles, foot work and combinations to dismantle the iron-chinned brawler Chris Leben, winning by KO in the first round. 

Brian Stann talked to Dave Meltzer about the contribution of his coaches to his win against Leben:

"I have great coaches. The best coaches in the world. It was angles and movement. We studied him and he gets frustrated by fighters who don't stand in front of him."
...
The 30-year old Stann, a former WEC light heavyweight champion, made the decision to leave his career in the military and dedicate himself full-time to the sport to train under Greg Jackson.

Jackson's game planning has rarely been as brilliant as it was in the Guida-Gomi fight. 

Guida, a long time gatekeeper in the UFC's lightweight division, reached the limits of his basic wrestle-boxer approach to MMA a while back. Since training with Jackson he has dramatically improved his submissions and stand up striking. It made all the difference against Gomi, a dangerous one punch knock out artist with a good sprawl. 

Clay Guida spoke to MMA Junkie about his strategy going into the fight:

Gomi has been known to come in under-conditioned sometimes," Guida told MMAjunkie.com. "Kenny Florian is a very tough fight for anyone in the octagon, and Kenny took it to him - jab, in and out. I'm not comparing myself to Kenny. He's a much more pinpoint striker, but we kind of mimicked that a little bit - staying away and doing a little Frankie Edgar - not getting hit too much and working our wrestling."

Guida made himself impossible to hit by constantly changing levels, moving back and forth, circling around the cage and generally contorting himself at a pace that would make a hummingbird blush. While Guida is always a high-energy fighter, he admits the gameplan called for an even more frantic approach than normal.

"I thought maybe I was wasting a little bit of energy out there staying on the outside, but I could feel wind when Gomi was throwing punches," Guida said. "That guy throws from his hip, and I'm glad he didn't connect too solid on any of them."
...
"The key in this fight in training was to not get punched by Gomi too much," Guida joked. "He's a momentum fighter. He's like Chris Leben. He loves when guys stand in his range and want to get in trading wars with him. That's not what I wanted to do.

Most impressively, when Guida did come into range he used unpredictable attacking combinations that really hurt Gomi. He used high kicks followed by punches followed by take downs and when Gomi stood back up he blitzed him with a charging punch combination. Deadly effective tactics from Team Jackson. 

Greg Jackson talked to Kevin Iole about training Guida:

"Everybody is different in how you work with them, but with Clay, we work on the plan over and over and over until he doesn't have a choice and that all he can think about is the plan," Jackson said. "Some guys, you can give them a sense of what they should be thinking about and they can work it in during sparring. With Clay, we're constantly talking to him about what he needs to do to win the fight. We give him a heavy dose of planning."

"His last two fights have been good and he's shown a lot of progress," Jackson said. "He's one of those guys who has great heart and great determination and that got him to a certain point. But now, he's been working on the technical aspects and becoming more a more technical fighter and that's helping him a great deal."

With Greg Jackson in their corner, both Stann and Guida should be increasingly serious factors in their respective divisions going forward.

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