Greg Jackson is a renowned MMA strategist and serves as coach and cornerman to such notable fighters as Rashad Evans, Shane Carwin, Nate Marquardt and Georges St. Pierre, to name a few.
He was in St. Pierre’s corner during his UFC 111 welterweight title defense against Dan Hardy and has taken some criticism for giving the champion some curious instructions in between rounds. At one point Jackson could be heard instructing St. Pierre not to pass guard and on a recent episode of TapouT Radio, Jackson explained the instructions.
“When he did pass his guard and he got his submission holds on, did Dan Hardy tap? No. So you do that a couple of times you say ‘OK we get this armlock, we get that armlock’ [he doesn’t tap]. At that point you’re like well, every time we go to get the mount we’re getting dumped and Hardy is getting out and we’ve got to work to take him down again,” explained Jackson.
He went on, “So obviously going straight after it isn’t the answer… GSP has amazing ground and pound from the guard, he can really hit hard. So once we took him down and saw that [submissions] weren’t going to work I wanted him to do some damage. I wanted him to hit him, to crack him, to mess him up a little bit.”
Jackson said that his instruction was intended to provide another way for St. Pierre to finish the fight.
“By staying in the guard and inflicting a lot of damage and then going for the submission hold, I thought that might be the way to soften him up, break him up a little bit and then get that submission hold,” said Jackson.
As far as whether or not St. Pierre was being merciful in not fully pursuing the submission holds he caught Hardy in out of concern of seriously injuring the Brit, Jackson has his ideas but he says you’ll have to ask the champ.
“You would have to ask Georges but my sense of it was that he let it go because Hardy just wasn’t going to tap,” said Jackson. “The referee wasn’t going to stop it because it was already cranked so far and Hardy wasn’t tapping. Keeping a hold on like that isn’t really going to do anything at that point. He let it go to look at other options for finishing the fight. Hardy is just super tough and he has rubber joints.”
Being such a prominent trainer, it is assured that Jackson will continue to receive criticism. But with his current stable of fighters also including Clay Guida, Kenny Florian and Jon Jones, it is safe to say that Jackson’s training and coaching speaks for itself.