After May 23, 2019, Damon Jackson thought his chances of getting back to the UFC were over.
Jackson, who had three fights in the UFC from 2014-2016 and did not get a win and was cut, fought in LFA hoping to get another crack. Yet, after years of trying nothing came up. So, Jackson signed with the PFL and hoped winning the tournament would open that door again. However, in his first fight, he was knocked out by Movlid Khaibulaev in just 10 seconds by a flying knee. He was then pulled from the tournament and he asked for his release.
Following his release, Jackson signed back with LFA and after one win was signed on just days notice to fight Mirsad Bektic at UFC Vegas 11. For the 32-year-old, it was surreal when he got the call.
“I couldn’t imagine this, it is surreal. It is mind-blowing as when I had a five-fight winning streak in LFA I was waiting for the UFC,” Damon Jackson said to BJPENN.com. “I waited like eight months and no one was offering me a fight so I had to sign with PFL. It was a two-year deal and hopefully, I could get back to the UFC. After I got knocked out and was pulled from the tournament I got out of my contract. I got back to LFA and needed to get two or three wins and get back to the UFC.”
Not only did Jackson get the phone call to fight in the UFC but he would also be taking on Mirsad Bektic who has a lot of hype. To get that fight, and get a submission win and with a bonus is just surreal.
“He has a bunch of hype and I even told my manager and coach about this matchup a month ago. I had a weird feeling his opponent wouldn’t make it to the fight so when the fight fell out we were all over it,” Damon Jackon said. “There was no one else for Sean Shelby to bring in and they brought me in. I liked the fact I could come in and fight someone who was ranked and a notable name.
“It was also a good matchup for me. He does not like to get hit and when he gets hit he shoots. If he is not sitting in side control his top game is not that scary,” he added. “He doesn’t land ground and pound or tries for submissions he just controls really well. So, I was actually fine with the fight going to the ground. Either way, I will be able to submit him.”
Following the win, Damon Jackson is looking to build off the momentum and get another fight this year and work his way up the featherweight rankings.
“I’m trying to get another one. I want something lined up in November and build off this momentum. I don’t want to call someone out, I know the UFC will get me something good after this win,” Jackson concluded.
Who do you think should be next for Damon Jackson?