Looking back over his UFC debut this past August against Ricky Simon at UFC 227, bantamweight Montel Jackson feels that taking the fight on short notice played a part in him coming out on the losing end of a unanimous decision.
And while he does feel he did some things positively against Simon, ultimately it’s the mistakes Jackson felt he made that have impacted his training since.
“Having a full camp or having a decent camp (was the main factor in the loss),” Jackson told MMAWeekly.com. “Having an adequate amount of time to prepare is pretty huge.
“Things I did well in that fight, I don’t look at that. Yes I can make things (I did well) better, but the things that I did wrong is what I look at. The biggest thing is just having ample amount of time to prepare.”
Unlike his debut against Simon, when Jackson has his second fight for the promotion he’ll have the additional time of a delay caused by his scheduled bout with Brian Kelleher to be moved from November to December due to his opponent falling ill.
“It’s bittersweet not getting a chance to fight at Madison Square Garden (for UFC 230 in November),” said Jackson. “Now we’re going to Vegas. It’ll be warmer at least.
“It’ll be good going somewhere warmer this time of year. I’m from Wisconsin, so palm trees and sunshine will be good, you know. I might end up staying out for a couple of days hanging with some buddies I have out there now and chill.”
On December 29, Jackson (6-1) will finally get to face Kelleher (19-9) in a preliminary 135-pound bout.
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“(The strategy is) just going in there and not do anything out of the ordinary,” Jackson said. “Go in there and be Montel. Nothing more, nothing less, and hold nothing back.
“That’s the biggest thing, going out there and getting the win. Debut or no debut, training camp or no training camp, I need to go out there and get that W.”
For Jackson, 2019 looks to be an establishing year for himself in the UFC, thus his main focus is on improving himself so he can be as prepared as he can be for the opportunities that may come his way.
“I train to be the best that I am at whatever I’m doing,” said Jackson. “I put in my focus to be the best.
“If I don’t have that mindset and focus of trying to be the best then what am I doing? I’m wasting my time. There’s no half-stepping or mediocrity or any of that – it’s go hard or go home.”