| || |
07-11-2008, 03:03 PM
Status: Favorite Fighter: Palma
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Crawled under a rock
How mixed martial arts made and changed a man : Local News : Ventura County Star
How mixed martial arts made and changed a man |
A fighter's fight
By Zeke Barlow (Contact)
Sunday, April 15, 2007
YUMA, Ariz. Inside an RV, in a dusty parking lot under a darkening desert sky, Jeremy "Scorpion" Jackson shut out the world around him.
Outside, beer-swilling fans crowded around an octagon cage clamoring for gladiators' jujitsu moves, punishing jabs and, just maybe, a few broken bones.
Soon Jackson would climb into the cage to try to reclaim his glory in the world of mixed martial arts. But not just yet.
He sat quiet, staring out at the parking lot, listening to "The Natural" soundtrack on his headphones, trying to tune out the crowd and the echoes of his past.
He tried not to think of his tormented childhood, his brother's death, his days of drinking too much, sleeping in his car and wasted opportunities.
He didn't want to think of his last fight, when his mind and body were soft and he lost to a lesser opponent.
And, for now, the news that his fiancée was rushed to the hospital on her way to the fight would have to be pushed aside, too.
All the 24-year-old fighter from Oxnard wanted to think about was this one fight, these three rounds ahead of him and what it could mean if he won, or worse, if he lost. He clenched his muscular jaw, framed by blond stubble.
Outside, the roar of the crowd surged and waned.
A short, pudgy man entered the recreational vehicle and taped up Jackson's meaty fists. Jackson pulled on his athletic cup, his black fighting shorts and, over the bleached blond tips of his hair and tanned head, the T-shirt of his team, Hostility MMA.
his was it. It was time to fight. He took a long, deep breath.
"Just another day," he said to no one.
Jackson was born into a silent world.
Until he was 5, nobody knew his ear canals were closed and he was deaf.
He never quite understood why he was getting in trouble, why people were mad at him for not doing what he was told.
"People were always yelling at me and shaking me," he remembered.
Finally, the kindergarten teacher at his Imperial Valley school realized he only responded when he could see someone's lips moving. But the surgery that put tubes in his ears and allowed him to hear only made things worse.
Now the world was too loud. Gentle voices seared his ears. Nightmares of electric sound waves came regularly.
The worst sound was his own voice.
Every word came out a staccato of repeated letters, every sentence drawn out by the stutter that plagued his mouth's every move. The frustration played across his face as he squinted and crinkled his face, fighting to say every word.
Children, being children, pounced.
"Stutter boy!" they yelled. "Retard!" "Germ!"
The skinny, meek towhead in a working-class town on the Mexican border was the official punching bag.
Boys teased, hit him, kicked him. A girl once pulled down his pants as he swung from the monkey bars leaving him hanging and naked as recess was called. He feigned sickness to avoid school, begged his mom not to make him go, told the nurses he just wasn't feeling right.
"He was tortured," said his mom, Toni. "He was getting angrier and angrier."
Then, in the third grade, his dad brought home boxing gloves. The boy started taking lessons and learned to fight. The taunting didn't stop; it just meant he knew what he was doing when the daily brawls ensued.
By high school, he'd had enough. He was angry, depressed and assumed his station in life, to be a victim. He felt completely alone.
He attempted suicide multiple times by taking too many aspirin, jumping off his house, swallowing oleander leaves. He was sent to a reform school and ordered to go to counseling daily to work on his anger. In small doses, things started getting better, his confidence grew and his stuttering diminished.
Soon afterward, his older brother Oscar brought home an Ultimate Fighting Championship video. After the two fighters pummeled each other using a combination of boxing, martial arts and wrestling, they hugged that manly athletic hug.
"Wow, that's not how my fights are," he thought, intrigued at the idea fighters could be friends.
'I felt like I was going to be huge'
Soon, his backyard was his mixed martial arts gym.
Jackson filled two-liter soda bottles with water to use them as punching bags. He wrapped a tetherball pole with a cut-up raft. He begged the carpet store for remnants so he could have a soft landing for the karate moves he was learning. Oscar was his main sparring partner.
After graduating from high school, he looked around for someone to train him. He heard Robert Ferguson, an MMA and boxing coach, had a gym in Port Hueneme.
He drove the five hours north and found Ferguson's gym closed for the day. He left a note scrawled on the back of a receipt.
"My name is Jeremy Jackson," it read. "I want to be the next UFC champion of the world. Will you help me?"
Ferguson took to him instantly.
"He definitely had the hunger, he was young enough and had the ability and determination. All he was missing was the technical skills," Ferguson remembered. "How can you say no to a guy like this?"
Ferguson got Jackson a job busing tables at Spanish Hills Country Club and started working him hard at the gym. Jackson begged him to be put in the cage, but Ferguson kept saying he wasn't ready. Jackson knew karate and boxing but needed to work on his other fighting styles.
"He was focused and young," Ferguson remembered. "Anybody who has a dream, you can help. That's worth more than anything."
In September 2001, Jackson had his first professional fight at the Gladiator Challenge in Northern California. He lost by a move called a "rear naked choke" in which his opponent had him in a headlock, cutting off his air, but he got a taste for the fight.
He started fighting in underground fight clubs in Los Angeles' parking structures and clubs. He went to American Indian reservations, the only places where the fights were legal in California. He and Ferguson went wherever they could to get a fight.
It was in September 2002, when he entered the King of The Mountain, a round-robin, one-night event in which the winner moves to the next level, that Jackson established himself as a solid boxer with a mean jab.
Jackson broke his left hand on his opponent's face in the first round of his first fight. Then Jackson knocked his opponent out.
He knocked his second opponent out with a hook from his broken hand.
In his third fight he broke his right hand, and Jackson knocked out that opponent, too.
The next year was a blur of fights and travel, mostly winning but losing a few. Sometimes all he'd make was $50.
"It was gas money and a black eye," he said. He loved it.
"I forgot all about who I was as a kid," he said. "I felt like I was going to be huge."
In September 2003, he got a phone call from the UFC, the major league of MMA. It wanted to put him under contract.
Soon he and Ferguson were flying all expenses paid to Hawaii for matches, getting $2,000 to fight and an additional $2,000 to win. He was on his way up. Fans picked a nickname, "Scorpion," because of his quick, stinging punches, and he got a tattoo of one on his left pectoral.
Then another call came.
His brother Oscar was dead.
Real life versus reality TV
The year before his death in a drunken driving accident, Oscar became lost in a world of methamphetamine. He once asked Jackson if he could come live with him, but Jackson said no. He told Oscar that being so close to Los Angeles would be bad for him, and Jackson couldn't take any distractions while trying to be a fighter.
At Oscar's funeral, Jackson laid his King of the Mountain title belt around Oscar's waist.
"I felt like God was punishing me," he said. "It didn't seem fair."
In the months after his death, those conversations with Oscar haunted Jackson. Though he was never much of a drinker, Jackson started drinking heavily at all times of the day, every day.
When he was training people at Mavericks gym in Moorpark, he was drunk. When he was working evenings as a bouncer at Ventura's Table 13, he was drunk. Training for his next fight took a back seat to his next drink. Over the next three years, he had only one fight.
"He was totally off track," Ferguson said. "He wasn't the same guy."
His girlfriend kicked him out, so he squeezed his nearly 5-foot-10-inch frame into the trunk of his Toyota so nobody would see him sleeping in his car.
Then his girlfriend got pregnant. Their relationship faltered even more as he fell deeper into the bottle. Relationships with women had always been a struggle.
He met another woman, Lilly, and moved from his car to her Oxnard home, but she, too, kicked him out after too much drinking.
In May 2006, he got what most fighters would consider a huge break: He was asked to be on the fourth season of the reality show, "The Ultimate Fighter," where MMA scrappers live together and fight one another to be king of the house.
However, the constant cameras, pseudo-drama and stocked liquor cabinets were too much. After 2 1/2 weeks, Jackson sneaked out of the house one night to meet a woman, a violation of the show's rules.
He was kicked out and sent home in the fifth episode.
The fighter who won the show went on to win the UFC welterweight title.
"We were looking to him (Jackson) as one of the top guys," said Dana White, the UFC president and show's producer, who is considered the godfather of MMA in the United States. "He's one of those kids who needs to focus."
Jackson moved back with Lilly, got engaged, got kicked out again, drank like mad and spent more nights in his car. Through all this, he was being recognized from the show. He loved the attention: it gave him a sense of validation. He never felt alone. He was a long way from the stuttering kid who got picked on.
But when his next fight came in November 2006, he was in lousy shape both mentally and physically.
He lost in one minute, 11 seconds when his opponent exploited a pinched nerve in Jackson's neck and put him into a submission hold.
If he lost his next fight, the UFC could take away his contract and he'd be just another fighter among the thousands clawing their way to the top.
"It felt like everything I'd accomplished up to that point had been deleted," he said.
A second chance
Five burly men crowded into a Super 8 Motel room in Yuma, Ariz., telling jokes and watching movies on a laptop, passing the time until the sun fell and the fights began. Jackson sat at the center of his entourage, drinking Pedialyte, resting, waiting.
It was March 31, and Jackson was fighting at the Paradise Casino. Though he was one of the two headline matches, the Indian reservation casino was a long way from the days of fighting in Las Vegas or Hawaii, when the pay and the crowds were bigger.
Rumors had been flying around the MMA world that he had lost his edge, put on weight, spent too much time in bars instead of the gym. He had moved up a weight class, from 170 pounds to 185.
But over the past few months, Jackson had found focus.
"I knew that I would feel like crap if I kept living that drinking lifestyle," he said. "I didn't want to be one of those guys at the bar saying I could have had the UFC title."
If he wanted to make it, to succeed in the only thing he knew how to do, he had to change.
He was asked to head the Hostility MMA team, based at a new gym that opened in Ventura. He also stopped drinking.
Running ate away the beer weight he put on. Lifting weights chiseled his wide chest, punctuated by the scorpion tattoo. Studying jujitsu, practicing grappling, wrestling others had helped him bring back the edge he had lost.
Most of all, he was ready in his head, ready to get back on track toward his goal of holding the title belt above his head. He was surrounded by people at the gym who stroked his ego and lifted him up. He was bolstered by the others, no longer fighting all alone.
Then, in Arizona, five hours before the fight, his cell phone rang with the news Lilly had collapsed on the way to Yuma. She was stabilized in intensive care, but doctors weren't sure what had happened.
She told him she was OK, not to worry, to fight and win.
"Try not to think about it," a member of his entourage said.
"Easy for him to say," Jackson said.
Jackson danced around the warm-up tent, boxing his shadow, stretching his legs and getting his blood flowing for the fight minutes away. Other brawlers came into the tent, noses cracked and bloodied, darkening bruises dotting their torsos after they were knocked out in the first round.
"Man, that was quick," Jackson said. He was hoping his fight would be quick, too, that he'd knock out his opponent in the first round.
Finally, it was time.
After nearly a dozen fights, the crowd was drunk on blood and beer, chanting loudly and hurling expletives. To lend theatrics to the event, each fighter walked down a runway on his way to the cage. Bass-laden music blasted through the speakers, go-go dancers in fishnet stockings gyrated and lights pulsated.
Jackson's opponent, Hector Carillo, was the first to walk down the runway. In a pre-taped interview shown on oversized TV screens, Carillo looked a bit soft, with long brown surfer hair that fell into his eyes.
Now it was Jackson's turn.
"Born in the USA" boomed as Jackson walked down the runway, his jaw clenched as he thrust his fists into the air. The bright lights played over his tight face as he looked out at the masses, unsmiling and hungry.
Jackson's parents, his old football coach and a handful of fans from his childhood hometown an hour away chanted with the masses.
"Some people question his training methods," the TV commentator said as the two fighters eyed each other. "The question is, which Jeremy Jackson is going to show up?"
The ring girl in a skimpy miniskirt paraded around the cage, holding up a "Round One" placard. The cage was bolted shut, Jackson and Carillo touched gloves, and the fight was on.
Jackson, being a stronger boxer than wrestler, wanted to keep the fight from going to the ground. But within 10 seconds, Carillo grabbed Jackson's left leg, throwing him off balance and Jackson fell to the mat.
Carillo drove into Jackson, pushing him across the mat. He landed a dozen punches on Jackson's ribs and face, nailing a hard one to his right eye.
Jackson had underestimated Carillo.
"Fight it, Jeremy, fight it!" Ferguson yelled from the sidelines.
Jackson's mom, Toni, cheered for her son, alternately pumping her fists with pride and covering her mouth with horror.
ackson struggled to get from Carillo's sweaty grasp, his eyes wide, his face awash in fear and disappointment. This wasn't the way he had planned his comeback.
He waited, straining to free himself, trying to find the upper hand. Fifty-six seconds into the fight, it came.
Jackson grabbed Carillo and turned him, tossing him toward the mat. When Carillo stuck his arm out to brace the fall, the heft of the two 185-pound men falling was too much. Carillo's elbow bent backward.
Jackson leaped and straddled Carillo's chest, pummeling his face with five quick punches. With Carillo unable to defend himself, the referee called the match.
Jackson had won.
He jumped onto the cage's lip, throwing his fists into the air, yelling "yeah!" through labored breath.
Paramedics rushed to the wincing Carillo to treat his dislocated elbow. Midway through his victory strut, Jackson bent down to make sure Carillo was OK.
After more strutting, the referee grabbed Jackson's hand and shot it into the air. "And for your winner, Jeremy 'Scorpion' Jackson!" the announcer's voice echoed through the speakers.
Jackson disappeared into the crowd, signing pictures of himself, autographing a woman's chest, slapping high fives with his Hostility teammates. Even with his right eye socket swelling and darkening like a plum, he was beaming.
He was far from alone.
The will to win is not as great as the will to prepare to win."
"...the way of the future...the way of the future...the way of the future...the way of the future..."
07-12-2008, 10:50 PM
Status: Christina "LadyJag"
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ontario Canada
| | Jeremy Jackson Arrested... Bail at 1 million
SOURCE: MMA on TAP
Jeremy Jackson, a two-time veteran of the UFC and a controversial cast member of the fourth season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, was reportedly arrested last week on multiple charges, which include rape, assault, kidnapping, and burglary among others.
The news comes from our friends at MMA Junkie, who have confirmed Jackson’s arrest with officials from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department in California. His inmate page via the department’s official website can be found here. (Did anyone else know Jackson was only 26?)
Jackson is currently being held behind bars at the Todd Road Jail with bail set at $1 million. He is scheduled to appear in front of a judge on July 16th and will enter his plea at that time. The police department has yet to officially comment on the arrest nor release any details regarding Jackson’s actions.
The total list of charges facing Jackson includes two counts of forcible rape, kidnapping to commit another crime, first-degree residential burglary, assault with a firearm, dissuading a witness by force or threat, and criminal threats. MMA Junkie also reports that Jackson was charged with two counts of sexual assault and one count of sex crimes after his arrest as well.
Jackson was defeated both times in his UFC bouts, suffering submission losses to Nick Diaz and Pete Spratt respectively. He most recently competed at a Total Combat event last March, defeating Hector Carrilo by TKO in the first round
07-12-2008, 11:12 PM
Status: Christina "LadyJag"
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ontario Canada
sorry my bad.. it was news to me..
07-13-2008, 12:55 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: victoria, british columbia
wow, this is alot to be accused of, if he did these things, but he may not have done it alone and been in a group doing this. it that is the case he may turn against them for a lighter sentence.
there is still a lot to come out of this, i have learned my lesson on making too quick of judgment, i am sure there is some truths to this, but to what extent he was actually involved remains to been seen, it will be intresting to see what evidence comes out.
TO EVAN R.I.P.
07-13-2008, 04:31 PM
Status: Dangida Dangida Dang
Join Date: Jun 2008
Thats a lot of charges, anyone know how many years he could be getting for all that?
| || |
Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests) |
All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:08 PM.
Quick Member Login
Top 5 Latest Threads
Latest MMA News