Dodson, Cerrone and 10 Others That Destroy the 'Boring' Jackson Fighter Myth

Craig Amos@@CAABRMMAFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2013

Dodson, Cerrone and 10 Others That Destroy the 'Boring' Jackson Fighter Myth

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    For such a mild-mannered guy, Greg Jackson sure is a polarizing figure.

    Lauded by many for his astute gameplanning and fight preparation and reviled by others for instilling what they see as conservatism in his pupils, Jackson has become MMA's most recognized trainer by walking the line between legend and outcast.

    In terms of effectiveness, Jackson's track-record speaks for itself. But on the other hand, the criticism that is so frequently leveled at him—that his fighters are boring, that they play it safe, that they pass up chances to finish in favor of coasting to a decision wins—is largely unfounded.

    In fact, the "boring" Greg Jackson fighter is an archetype grounded in little more than myth and misperception. 

    The myth has roots in the expectations that grew alongside Jackson's own notoriety, a misplaced frustration with Georges St-Pierre's inability to finish opponents and the inevitability that a camp supporting so many fighters will inevitably be linked to dull moments from time-to-time.

    Where the myth has no roots is in fact or reality, and its weak holds there mean that it can very easily be turned on its head.

    Don't believe me? Check out the following list of Jackson-trained fighters who collectively lay waste to the fallacy that the trainer produces a disproportionately passive, defensive crop of mixed martial artists.

Diego Brandao

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    Since his time on The Ultimate Fighter back in 2011, Brandao has shown nothing but a desire to end fights in violent fashion.

    A 2-1 UFC record since that time has produced only one stoppage for the Brazilian, but that hasn't been from lack of aggression. As Brandao continues to grow as a fighter and increase the capacity of his gas tank, his innate killer-instinct will begin to shine through more regularly, and he'll continue to gain recognition as both a promising up-and-comer, and an electric competitor. 

    What that will translate to is more highlight reel finishes, a long career made up of fun-to-watch battles and damage done to the boring Jackson myth.

Travis Browne

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    As a big, athletic striking specialist who has shown a penchant for getting after opponents, Browne can hardly be labeled a boring fighter. 

    Four of his six UFC fights have produced a finish, all of which have come in the very first round, and he's shown an impressive mix of skills throughout his time with the promotion.

    Not a guy that comes to mind when you think about old conservative Greg Jackson, is he?

Donald Cerrone

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    Since November 5, 2008, Cerrone has had 15 fights between the WEC and UFC. During that time-frame, he has garnered eight Fight of the Night bonuses.

    That means that more than half of the times Cerrone fights, he's part of the night's most exciting fight. 

    Throw in a pair of Knockout of the Night bonuses and a Submission of the Night bonus during that aforementioned span, and you're talking about one of the most thrilling fighters currently competing in the sport.

Carlos Condit

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    Yes, Carlos Condit, the one that recently fought prized Jackson pupil Georges St-Pierre for the UFC welterweight title.

    Though Condit's head-trainer is Mike Winkeljohn, he is both a bona fide member of the Jackson gym, and a standard-bearer for excitement in MMA.

    Condit's ability to mix it up anywhere the fight takes him, as well as his uncanny knack for pushing the pace no matter the position (go back and watch how active he was when GSP was in his guard) means dull moments in his matches are few and far between.

John Dodson

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    Since hooking up with the UFC back in 2011, all Dodson has done is capture an Ultimate Fighter championship, produced a 3-0 record and earn a flyweight title shot.

    And he's looked impressive doing it. 

    "The Magician" favors the type of striking-heavy style that most MMA fans crave, delivering a varied arsenal with blinding speed. His considerable repertoire is only accentuated by a source of one-punch knockout power rarely seen at 125, which Dodson routinely uses to hunt for a finish with.

Leonard Garcia

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    Perhaps he isn't the best that Jackson's camp has to offer, but he does try to make every one of his fights a show.

    Garcia is known for winging full-power punches, and being able to do so for a full 15-minute contest. He's also reputed for his granite jaw, which has stood the test of a particularly grueling 26-fight career.

Clay Guida

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    The less said about Guida's last fight, the better. It was an absolutely horrendous showing, but one very much atypical of "The Carpenter's" performances.

    Though not a knockout artist or submission wizard like most of the fighters populating this list, Guida brings his own brand of excitement to the majority of his matches in the form of a pulsating energy that resonates on television as well as live. 

    He goes hard from bell-to-bell, and rarely leaves viewers anything but satisfied.

Jon Jones

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    Like him or hate him, Jones is rapidly becoming one of the sport's most exciting fighters. His athleticism allows him to execute techniques few fighters can replicate, and his bountiful self-confidence sparks in him a willingness to execute wild, flashy maneuvers on a regular basis.

    The light heavyweight champion's enthralling style of combat has already involved him in a handful of spectacular fights during his young career. It has also brought him a bevy of finishes that will continue burning a hole in MMA's highlight reel, even years from now.

Rustam Khabilov

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    We haven't seen much UFC action from him yet, but anyone that can do what Khabilov did to Vinc Pichel at the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 16 can't really be all that boring.

Erik Perez

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    One of the bantamweight division's brightest up-and-coming stars, Perez has scored three first-round stoppages in three UFC fights.

    Does that really sound like a conservative gameplanner to anyone?

    Perez has exhibited a nasty aggression during the cumulative 8:25 that he's spent in the Octagon, and looks to be the best youngster in the division behind Renan Barao and Michael McDonald.

Brian Stann

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    Yet another fighter that discredits the boring Jackson fighter fallacy, Stann has become a UFC fan-favorite because of his "All American" persona and captivating fight style.

    Though more refined and less reckless now than early in his career, Stann continues to be one of the middleweight division's most dangerous and effective head-hunters. 

    His penchant for violent knockouts has provided some memorable moments over the past few years, though opponents Chris Leben, Jorge Santiago and Alessio Sakara might still be trying to forget them.


Cub Swanson

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    Surging featherweight Cub Swanson didn't just propel himself into title contention in 2012, he also established himself as one of UFC's most exciting 145-pounders.

    Always looking to engage in a slugfest, Swanson scored a trio of knockouts last year that caused a real buzz in MMA circles. 

    But it isn't just fans of the knockout that can appreciate Swanson's aggressive style. Indeed, the well-rounded Team Jackson competitor has been known to go just as hard for a submission when the opportunity is there.