Greg Jackson versus Dana White

November, 30, 2010
Rossen By Jake Rossen

Piling on Greg Jackson is the new sport within a sport. Following Nate Marquardt's slow-gear performance against Yushin Okami at UFC 122, UFC president Dana White labeled Jackson, Marquardt's coach, as promoting "safety first" among his athletes. Although that's a common goal among fighters, White -- and many fans -- see anyone who comes from Jackson's camp as being infected by some kind of ultraconservative approach.

Forget Marquardt for a second: Frankly, very few fighters can look exciting against Okami. And Marquardt's prior bouts weren't lacking in energy. Is Jon Jones stinking up any arenas? Clay Guida?

There's no question that some Jackson athletes take fewer risks than they might have prior to meeting him. Melvin Guillard looked calm in his last bout; Georges St. Pierre is flirting with becoming a decision fighter. But you'll find plenty of athletes who share the same reservations from other camps, and just as many from Jackson's camp who can be thrilling. Jackson's reputation for this isn't deserved. But if he's reminding his athletes they'll one day have to use their heads for something other than fighting, good for him. There's no reward for losing a record number of brain cells.

Jake Rossen is a contributor to His byline has appeared in the New York Times,, and numerous other outlets. He began covering mixed martial arts in 1998.



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