Leonard Garcia: Why Cowboy didn’t have Jackson in corner

Friday, July 18, 2014

Legacy FC featherweight champion Leonard Garcia appeared recently on MMAjunkie Radio, ahead of his fight with undefeated Damon “The Leech” Jackson at LFC 33 on Friday night. The Jackson MMA fighter discussed why he, and on Wednesday night UFN 45 headliner Donald Cerrone did not have Greg Jackson in their corner, and instead had training partners.

“Those are the guys that really know what we’re doing,” said Garcia, as transcribed by Dann Stupp for MMAJunkie. “It’s kind of hard to stick somebody in there who hasn’t really been watching (every training session) and expect him to know everything his training partners know.”

“We’re still Jackson (fighters). There’s just no point in making Greg come out if he doesn’t have to, and if he didn’t watch the full camp, I don’t believe he’s qualified. Of course, he’s a smart guy, and I’m pretty sure he could figure it out on the fly. But whenever I have the guys who have been there with me every day and have seen where I’ve made my mistakes and where I haven’t – when I have those guys in the corner – I feel like it’s an advantage.”

“But we train there every day. I love Greg. He’s my head coach. If Greg wanted to be in my corner – if he asked me – I’d absolutely have him there.”

“If you want to be in the UFC, you’ve got to win all your fights. Being a well-rounded fighter is my only goal in this one. I want to show everyone what I’ve been working on and make a statement tonight.”

The model of a grizzled veteran mentoring a fighter is as old as fight sports, and indeed it is hard to imagine fight sports without it. However, given that MMA is in fact a team sport, it may become increasingly common to see team members working corners, particularly among the massive teams like Jackson's where it is impossible for the head coach or coaches to fully train and corner every fighter.

You can watch Garcia make a statement Friday night on AXS TV, from the Allen Event Center in Allen, Texas.