For years MMA coach and trainer Greg Jackson has come under heavy scrutiny for supposedly encouraging via "boring or conservative means. Twice this year he was blamed for the underwhelming performances of two of his headlining fighters. Both Carlos Condit and Clay Guida were widely criticized for utilizing gameplans that many felt exploited the judging criteria in an effort to win on points alone. To many, these performances were a direct result of Greg Jackson's advice and influence. Most recently, Jackson came under fire from UFC president Dana White, who blamed him for Jon Jones not fighting Chael Sonnen which resulted in the cancellation of UFC 151. White said that Greg Jackson was "ruining MMA".
Despite the impression White and some fans carry, members of Team Jackson do not agree with the prolific negative image. Team Jackson fighter and UFC Featherweight Cub Swanson spoke his mind to Full Contact Fighter (via MMA Mania):
It seems like people sometimes take unfair shots at us and our gym. All it does is piss us off. It seems like all the talking that's done takes place outside the gym. When we're here we just train. I've been here over three years and he's (Jackson) never ever told me to cruise it. He's never said to try and last. It's always been about finishing fights, train harder and push it. He's never said to play it safe. This is a guy, that when I was in the WEC, I broke my hand a week before the fight, and he asked ‘do you want to fight?' When I said ‘yeah', he said ‘alright, let's do it. (He) didn't try to talk me out of it. He supported me 100 percent. He told me that if I didn't throw that broken hand right away that he would be pissed at me; that he wanted me to go after the guy right away. He didn't want me going in there fighting dumb, scared and injured. That's the kind of guy he is; so for people to say he's the type of person to say play it safe, is bull. He's a fight coach, and when it comes down to it, he wants us to fight. He wants us to finish.
With three "Fight Of The Night" and a "Knockout Of The Night" award under his belt, no one has ever accused Cub Swanson of being boring. With other undeniably exciting fighters like Diego Sanchez and Jon Jones under the Jackson banner, there's definitely substance to Swanson's argument. On the other hand, Condit's fight against Diaz showed a clear contrast to many of his previous performances and Guida fought against his strengths with an unprecedented style. Additionally, Jones himself has emphasized Jackson's role in his decision to decline the fight against Sonnen.
Heading into UFC 152, Cub Swanson is coming off a late second round KO of Ross Pearson at UFC On FX 4. He'll face Charles Oliveira on the PPV main card on Saturday. The event will take place at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.