Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The first season of Professional Fighters League brought a concept that has been tried before in the world of MMA - the league format. A staple of the American sports world, the league format allows people to know exactly where the fighters stand as they make a run for the championship, which is something that season 2 participant Damon Jackson is all about.

“When they came out with the format, I really, really liked what they were doing with it,” he said to The Top Turtle MMA Podcast. “The whole thing, the concept, is pretty cool.”

But the idea of knowing how close he is to the playoffs and a potential million dollars is not what got Jackson the most interested. As a guy who likes to stay busy, he’s looking forward to the opportunity to mix it up a bunch of times this year.

“I’m excited about it because that’s the way I like to fight,” Jackson said. “I like to stay active, so looking at having four fights in one year - that makes me very happy.”

And while getting in the cage is part of what makes him happy, the most important thing to him is having meaning in his every day. With how often he is training and coaching other fighters, he likes to know the work he is putting in makes sense.

“No matter what, I’m training twice a day, every single freaking day,” he said. “When I don’t have a fight, it doesn’t make any sense for me to train as much as I do.”

It will, of course, be difficult to keep up in a season format that is so grueling, but he’s making the necessary adjustments.

“The thing I’m going to do is make sure that my body is recovering after all of this training and after every fight,” he said. “Training camp is a little different for this one - I’m not banging myself up as much.”

His plan for training camps after the first fight will be a bit different. He also doesn’t plan on taking all that much time off. While staying healthy is key, the fights come close together and are guaranteed, so he’s all about getting prepared.

“Coming into this fight this has been almost a completely normal camp, I’m coming in for this one good to go,” he said. “[Then] I’m going to stay on my diet and take a couple days off of training, and then I’m going to ease back into my technique training.”

He’ll need to stay healthy in his debut fight in order to stick to his plans. That fight takes place at PFL 2019 #2, this Thursday on ESPN+ against Movlid Khaibulaev.

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Author Daniel Vreeland is a co-founder of the Top Turtle Podcast, and a brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu at New England Submission Fighting in Amherst, Massachusetts.