By Jamie McAllister
Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold and Challenger Tim Kennedy debate about Greg Jackson's game planning on Tuesdays conference call before their main event showdown on July 14th at Strikeforce : Rockhold vs. Kennedy.
Rockhold admits he's not a fan of the Jackson game-plans.
"I think that’s kind of across the board," he said. "It's Tim’s style, it's his previous fights. I mean, there's a lot of fighters who come out of that camp, they have a smart game plan, they follow the game plan and it's not the most exciting game plan a lot of the times but it wins them fights sometimes. It doesn't excite me much. I'm not a big fan of his style."
He also feels Jackson tries to influence the judges by shouting various things from the corner.
"Also, he yells the guys names in the corner, like, 'Great job, beautiful low kick Tim Kennedy,' and this and that," he continued. "I think he tries to play into the minds of the judges a lot, and it's a form of, I think, cheating to some extent. I’m there to fight. I’m confident in my abilities, and I’m not going to let this fight slow down. Whatever he brings to the table, it's not really going to matter because I'm going to nullify it, and I'm going to play my game."
This past weekend Team Jackson-Winkeljohn came under fire after Clay Guida used lots of footwork and feints in a tactical strategy to attempt to avoid the power of Gray Maynard. Guida lost a split decision to Maynard. Prior to that Carlos Condit was heavily criticised for his tactics in his victory over Nick Diaz.
Tim Kennedy who trains at Jackson's feels the criticism is unwarranted and does not make any sense.
"It doesn't make any sense."
"That same night when people were harassing Clay Guida for his performance, we had the Knockout of the Night with Cub Swanson going out there and doing some insanity in the cage to finish one of the best kickboxers in the division. But did anybody mention what a great performance Cub Swanson had and how fantastic that finish was? And hey, Greg Jackson, congratulations for having Knockout of the Night ?"
"No, they were like, 'Clay was running,'" he continued. "Well, Gray hits really hard and he's a really great wrestler. I think that Clay had nearly the perfect game plan for that fight. It wasn't flawlessly executed. He should have done more sticking than he did moving, but he had the right idea, and it was an extremely close fight. And the Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit … I’m a Nick Diaz fan but if i was going to fight Nick Diaz, that’s how I’d fight him, is the way Carlos did. So I think the criticism is completely unfounded. I think Greg is a fantastic coach. We have more finishes, more knockouts, more submissions, more champions than any other camp out there. It’s asinine and I think it's just people lashing out at somebody's who's very talented at coaching fighters."
As far as Rockhold is concerned its nothing personal and says he's prepared for anything but is looking for a fight.
"I just hope he comes out and fights me in the middle and fights me everywhere," he said. "This is mixed martial arts. I quit wrestling for a reason; I want to fight. I'm looking for a fight."
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