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UFC’s Montel Jackson: The only way you’re going to be successful is ‘to be who you truly are’

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Montel Jackson is all about embracing your dark side and being your true self, womanizer or otherwise.

“You gotta embrace your dark side. You got to be who you truly are. That’s the only way you’re going to be successful,” Jackson told Kajan Johnson and Shakiel Mahjouri on the Pull No Punches podcast. “You always gotta be true to yourself. If you’re a piece of s—t, man, be a piece of s—t. You gotta be who you truly are.” He even had advice for a 15-time major championship-winning golfer.

“If you look at Tiger Woods, man, what really f—ked Tiger Woods up is he didn’t accept who he truly was.”

When asked if one should be compelled to work on their dark side, Jackson emphatically said no. “No, man, then you’d be lying,” he asserted. “If you’re a piece of s—t, you know, or you’re a womanizer you gotta be a womanizer. That’s what you like to do, that’s what you like to do… Either people are going to love you or hate you man, it can’t be nothing [sic] in between.”

Despite his penchant for the dark side of the force, Jackson has a history of putting others before himself. In his teen years, Jackson put aside a potential collegiate wrestling career to care for his elderly grandparents.

“I wrestled only two years in high school, my junior year and me senior year. In my senior year, I made it to state and got a lot of offers from schools. I was going to head down to Iowa to wrestle, but my grandparents got sick, “ he shared. “It’s crazy because the day my grandma died, my coaches had taken me to Harbor College in Illinois. On the way back my grandma had died. She died the day we took her to the nursing home.”

“I was f—ked up. I had been living with my grandparents so they wouldn’t have to go to a nursing home or any assisted living. That’s one of the things they feared the most… being forgotten and dying,” Jackson expressed. “I had moved in with them. I said, ‘forget it.’ I always thought in my head I could wrestle anywhere, I could do anything. I was young, I was ambitious and I was still wrestling.”

“My great auntie died — my grandpa’s last-living sibling — died at 87 or 88. My grandma died, my auntie died and finally my grandpa died. I really believe my granddad died of being alone, he died of a broken heart,” he continued. “People don’t really believe in soulmate, but if you live with someone for 60 years and they die, it’s like what the f—k, what do you do?”

“After my grandpa died, I was real depressed and s—t. As the year passed I got better and s—t,” he confessed. “I didn’t regret it. I look back and I’m happy. I think what if I went off to school? I would’ve messed all that good time with my grandparents and auntie.”

Jackson also compared MMA to the NBA and which Mortal Kombat character he most relates to. Time stamps are below for the video above:

1:43 – Embracing your dark side, even if you’re a womanizer
6:10 – Black representation in WWE and Hollywood
12:35 – How do you come to terms with not being the best?
18:08 – Which Mortal Kombat character is Montel Jackson?
18:38 – Skipping out on collegiate wrestling to care for grandparents
23:24 – How MMA compares to NBA



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