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UFC 177: Dillashaw vs. Barao II - The Idiot's Guide to Yancy Medeiros vs. Damon Jackson

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Yancy Medeiros looks to bounce back from his three fight winless streak against newcomer, Damon Jackson in a bout that settles nothing in the LW division hierarchy at UFC 177.

Photo by Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

LightweightYancy Medeiros vs. Damon Jackson

Anything to report that has nothing to do with MMA that can we get out of the way before reviewing a fight that no one will talk about?

Not really. With football season, coming up, it should be noted that Louisiana is losing a football field's worth of land every hour.

Will this affect the Cowboys?

The most I know about the Cowboys is what I learn from Skip Bayless and Stephen A Smith bickering back and forth, which is to say absolutely nothing. You're talking to a casual football fan. Unlike MMA fans, I do like other sports though. I keep telling myself to join a fantasy league.

Is this the first PPV to start the main card with a fighter who is winless in his last three?

Maybe, maybe not. But to call Yancy Medeiros winless in his last three is to be misleading if the implication is that he's terrible. He injured his thumb (the medical term for which is dactyl) two minutes into his bout with Rustan Khabilov after defending a takedown/suplex. Then he blazed enough chronic before his bout with Yves Edwards to get busted by the athletic commissions, overturning what was previously a KO win. And after that he had to face Jim Miller, who is still really really good.

These sound like excuses and I'm not impressed. Especially with the weed part. I thought stoners always told me you couldn't get addicted. I don't buy that notion if Yancy was willing to threaten his career just for some grass.

I'm trying to figure out which slang for marijuana makes you sound like you're two trips down a flight of stairs away from breaking your hip. "Grass" is probably number one, followed by "pot".

So is Yancy fighting? Wikipedia doesn't tell me.

Damon Jackson is a product out of Octagon MMA, and took the Legacy FC Belt after beating Leonard Garcia with a savvy arm triangle choke.

Wait...does that qualify as impressive anymore?

First off, that is borderline fighter bashing. Second, Garcia was on a three fighting winning streak before he lost to Jackson, and he lost less than two minutes into the bout. Yes, Garcia always had the distinction of winning bouts many felt his opponent was robbed in, and he had a style that speaks to MMA's lingering amateur quality, but Garcia had only ever been submitted a couple of times in his career, and never that quickly.

At 26 years of age, Damon did exactly what he needed to do. If found it impressive. Plus, it has added to his reputation as a finisher. Of his nine bouts, 7 have been finished via submission, and the other two by TKO/KO.

Oddsmakers have this bout dead even, which is mostly correct.

We still don't know a whole lot about Yancy. He's a massive lightweight though. Except he doesn't fight like the freight train that he's the size of for a LW. A lot of times Yancy keeps it calm, and carries on. He throws relatively low impact strikes to gauge distance, often preferring the front kick. This makes the 26 year old fighter from Hawaii essentially immune to desperate takedowns. It also makes his striking more effective. Because of his size, he doesn't need to windmill slam punches on his opponent. A lot of times he finds the mark by being patient. He's a lot like Gleison Tibau: a big guy who fights small, but doesn't lose his overall effectiveness as a result.

As for Jackson, he's a grappler first and foremost. He fights in this slightly awkward crouched stance on the feet, aiming for the takedown at every turn. Once he's got you there, he's as aggressive a grappler as there is right now. He transitions well from guard to side mount, and he takes the back with urgency. The most important part of his sub game is that he's active not just with positioning, but with punches.

Too many grapplers still fall into ADCC mode, where they think they can get by on sheer movement. In MMA, it's not position before submission. It's disruption before submission.

Or that's how I see at least. Submissions are set up more by what precedes different elements of mixed martial arts (a punch, kick, or takedown) than by a linear grappling approach. Damon can win this bout if he gets it to the ground, but I say with zero confidence whatsoever, especially since he isn't terribly impressive on the feet. I think Yancy keeps it on the feet to give the newcomer a tough first rodeo.

Yancy Medeiros by Decision.