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Damon Jackson reacts after his submission victory over Kamuela Kirk in their featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 12, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
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Damon Jackson Knows Hard Work Always Pays Off

Coming Off Back-To-Back Wins, Damon Jackson Is Hoping To Continue The Momentum Well Into 2022 At UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs Rozenstruik

Winner of four of his last five, with three of those four victories coming by way of submission, Damon Jackson is finally on the UFC hot streak that is getting the 33-year-old the attention he’s long deserved. 

Not that he’s chased the spotlight, but as a veteran of the sport and one of the rare ones who has bridged old school MMA and the modern era, his wish was to fight as often as he wants to at the highest level, and after beating Kamuela Kirk in March and now fighting Dan Argueta on Saturday, things are going according to plan. 

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And while winning fights and chasing finishes was a good start, it was the boss that put his request to stay busy over the top.

Rewind to May 7th’s UFC 274 card. Actually, rewind to weigh-in day, where Jackson is in Phoenix to corner his Fortis MMA teammate Macy Chiasson.Simple enough, but before leaving, he told his wife to prepare to take a flight to Arizona.

“I told my wife, ‘Get ready to get on the fastest jet out to Phoenix. One of these guys is gonna fall out and I'm gonna be ready. I'm gonna cut weight and do everything.’”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 19: Damon Jackson reacts after his submission victory over Mirsad Bektic in their featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 19: Damon Jackson reacts after his submission victory over Mirsad Bektic in their featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

He wasn’t kidding. Jackson began cutting weight, hitting 158 pounds on Friday morning of fight week.Then one of the guys he was talking about - Donald Cerrone - was forced out of his fight with Joe Lauzon due to food poisoning.

“We're on our way to the venue, and they're like, ‘Cerrone's out,’” said Jackson, whose next move was to get in touch with his coach, Sayif Saud.

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“‘Hey, Cerrone's out, see if they'll put me in. I'm ready to go right now.’ Coach is like, ‘Get out of here,’ and laughed it off. Before I finished talking to him, I was texting (manager) Jason House. ‘Tell them I'm ready to go - this is my weight, all my medicals are done, I can fight.’” 

House responded, “Ha ha, love you brother.” 

“No one's taking me serious,” said Jackson, who then decided to go straight to the President. 

“I text Dana White, ‘I'm down to fight. I know it's crazy, but I'll do it.’”

Damon Jackson Gets Arm Triangle Submission Win | UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Ankalaev
Damon Jackson Gets Arm Triangle Submission Win | UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Ankalaev
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White took Jackson seriously and appreciated the offer, but told him that the plan was to reschedule Cerrone-Lauzon for a later date. But then White added that he was going to let matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard know that Jackson is to be kept as active as he wants to be.

So here he is, with summer plans already in his head if all goes well this weekend.

“My goal is to go out there and get a quick finish on this kid, maybe first, second round, and then go into that fight July 30th and fight someone there.”

That fight July 30th is the big UFC 277 card in his adopted hometown of Dallas. And it would be a full circle moment for him, considering that he’s never fought there as a UFC fighter. And yeah, he’s serious about the quick turnaround.

“That's me,” he said. “Whenever I say something, I mean it. I will fight anybody, any day, whatever. I literally don't care. If it's for the UFC and I'm getting paid for it, I'll fight anybody.”

You know we’ve heard that before, Damon. He’s heard it, too. The thing is, he means it.

MORE FIGHT NIGHT: Fight Card Updates | Fight By Fight Preview | What Volkov Needs | Fighters On The Rise

“I think the concept of people saying that can get so lost because people are so full of s**t,” Jackson said. “Everybody has their little picks in their head and who they think they're better than and who they really want to fight. But if the matchmaker calls and they're like, ‘You've gotta fight Khabib (Nurmagomedov),’ it’s ‘Oh, actually, my knee's a little tweaked, I need a few more weeks of training.’ People come up with all this nonsense.”

Not the no nonsense Damon Jackson, who has been known to take fights on a day’s notice before.  

“I was at a bar while they were doing weigh-ins for this amateur event, and this douchebag with two belts over his shoulders is like, 'No one wants to fight me, everybody's scared,'” Jackson recalls with a laugh. 

The show’s promoter was right next to him and Jackson volunteered his services. 

“Hey, I've had three amateur fights, I'll take the fight. What weight class is it?” 

Want to know what kind of fighter Jackson is? He said he’d take the fight without even knowing the weight class. Turns out the bout was at welterweight and he won. But there was a twist.

“I go out there and smash this kid and then I didn't even know it, but it was my wife's ex-boyfriend from high school,” he laughs. “I had no clue.”

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Jackson’s bride did give him his game plan for the fight, though. 

“You gotta beat his ass,” she said.

He did as instructed, and all these years later, he’s still doing his thing. Only now he’s doing it with the world watching. Not that it matters to him. He just wants to fight.

“If you don't love this sport, you're not gonna make it to that real high level,” Jackson said. “It's such a crazy sport, crazy lifestyle, the whole thing makes no sense until you make it big. And if you sit there and plan it out, you're never gonna make it. But you put the work in and you work hard, it always pays off, somehow, someway.” 

UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs Rozenstruik, took place on Saturday, June 4, 2022, live from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!