An ideal counter argument to those who claim mixed martial arts is all physical, Jackson's cerebral approach to fighting has formed the basis for much of his success, including a burgeoning notoriety for razor-sharp strategies — which he can make sound both esoteric and simple.
“Everything's tethered within physics and the structure of the techniques,” Jackson said. “But you're playing within those structures … you're doing different things and making them work for you.”
Germane to any game plan Jackson engineers in his Albuquerque, N.M., gym is adaptability. Regardless of the degree to which fighters execute techniques, no matter how efficient their attacks, he believes little good can come from relying too heavily on even the most effective tactics.
“If you put your eggs in any psychological basket at that top level, saying that my 'ace in the whole' is this large thing, then it would be very hard for you to win because if that doesn't go your way, you don't have a plan b,” he said. “It's more important to look at little things, which, of course, I can't divulge.”