Following tonight’s UFC 122 post-fight press conference Dana White had some harsh words about Nate Marquardt’s performance in the main event again Yushin Okami.
“He is a choker,” MMAJunkie reports White to have said to a small group of journalists. “He choked tonight.”
“You already blew a title shot once; you’re in a fight for the title shot again in the third round, and you’re not throwing any punches or kicks? It has nothing to do with pressure. You’re … professional, and you’re going to go after it in the last round to get your title shot.”
Not so long ago White was similarly critical of Kenny Florian after he fought a cautious fight against Gray Maynard, and ultimately lost out on a second title shot as a result.
What Florian and Marquardt have in common is that they both fall under the wing of renowned trainer Greg Jackson’s camp, and White believes they have to shoulder a a big part of the blame for the performances their fighters are producing.
“Marquardt is such a talented guy, and what I’m seeing is stuff from the Greg Jackson camp, this camp continuously – when these guys fight, their corner is either telling them they’re ahead or they’re winning.
“I mean, Nate Marquardt sat here tonight and said that he thought he won the fight. Where the [expletive] is his corner? You go into the last round and you’re getting outstruck by a wrestler, and you think you won the fight? And this is consistent with the Greg Jackson camp.”
It’s certainly possible that there’s an element of truth to this theory. The Jackson camp has increasingly become known for putting together strategic gameplans that often err on the side of caution, and they have no problem ‘winning ugly’ – valuing the win over any thoughts of entertaining the fans.
Toe be fair it’s a style that other major stars of the Jackson camp like GSP and Rashad Evans appear to have embraced and have had success with.
At the same time fighters like Marquardt and Florian don’t appear to have responded well to it in their recent performances, seeming overly tentative in their approach and appearing to lack a sense of urgency in the later rounds of close fights.
A lot of the responsibility must still be shouldered by the fighter’s themselves, but there’s certainly food for thought here for Greg Jackson, Trevor Wittman and the rest of the Jackson’s Submission Fighting team.