UFC featherweight Damon Jackson is in the early stages of grieving his brother, but he’s already found a unique way to remember him.
Jackson discovered last Tuesday that his brother died unexpectedly days before his UFC Vegas 60 showdown with Pat Sabatini. Many wondered whether or not Jackson would stay on the card despite the tragedy in his family.
The 34-year-old Jackson not only managed to fight on the night, but was able to earn arguably the biggest victory of his career in the process. He caught Sabatini with a front kick in the first round followed by a ground kick for the ‘Performance of the Night’ win.
Emotions swirled for Jackson just seconds after the referee stopped the fight. He pointed to his family in the UFC Apex crowd and shared a moment of joy and despair at the same time.
Jackson inspired many around the world with his performances and his ability to stay on track despite horrific tragedy. As he continues to work through his emotions, he wants to honor his brother for the rest of his career and beyond.
Damon Jackson pays tribute to his late brother after UFC Vegas 60 finish
During exclusive interview with MMA NewsJackson spoke about the significance of changing his nickname from “The Leech” to “Action.”
“When I was a kid, I always went to my brother’s games,” Jackson said. “You don’t always watch games when you should when you’re a kid, you want to play your own stuff. I was always playing at the side of the pitch behind the stands. I just heard on the intercom ‘Action Jackson’ with the stoppage… or the tackle.
“They were always saying his name out loud on the intercom… they were also calling him ‘action’ on the football pitch. He was 6’4″ tall, long legs, very fast…I think I’ll keep him because of what he stands for and it always reminds me of where I come from with this competition in my blood. I’m just kinda keeping that in the back of my head for how long I can compete.
Jackson moved closer to a spot in the featherweight rankings with his win over Sabatini. He has won four in a row, including recent victories over prospects such as Dan Argueta and Charles Rosa.
Jackson has always been known as a grappler, although he has improved his striking with each appearance in the Octagon. His win over Sabatini was the culmination of hours spent in the gym that paid off in a big way.
Jackson wants to inspire those going through emotional turmoil and fans can expect him to fight with an even bigger edge than before after this recent momentous moment.
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