Damon Jackson fought with a heavy heart at UFC Vegas 60 after losing his brother just days ago, but he still managed to put on a jaw-dropping performance over highly-touted prospect Pat Sabatini.
Despite getting the news that his brother passed away on Tuesday of fight week, Jackson never blinked when it came time to compete. The emotional turmoil only seemed to fuel him as Jackson blasted Sabatini with a front kick just seconds into the fight, which led to a mauling on the ground until the referee finally stopped the contest at just 1:09 in the opening round.
As soon as the fight ended, Jackson fell to the ground and let the tears flow as he honored his fallen sibling with his performance.
” “It’s almost unreal,” Jackson stated afterward. It still does not feel real. It means a lot for me to come out here and compete and there’s no chance of me of not fighting. This is the only time I feel normal when I get to come out here and compete.”
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 17, 2022
Carrying the nickname “Action Jackson” into the cage — an homage to the name his brother used while playing high school football — the 34-year-old veteran came out confident on his feet as he launched an early front kick that caught Sabatini flush as he ducked his head during an exchange.
Sabatini became wobbly as soon as the strike hit. Jackson then placed him on the floor while advancing his position.
Eventually, Sabatini rolled to his stomach and that allowed Jackson to just start unloading punches in succession. Sabatini surrendered verbally to the referee, who saved him from more harm.
” I wanted to finish,” Jackson stated. “Whenever I caught him, I saw his head duck down and I knew he was hurt pretty bad. He’s such a tough opponent.”
Jackson has now rattled off four wins in a row with a 5-1 overall resume since returning to the UFC, but this will undoubtedly become one of the most memorable performances of his career considering everything weighing on him heading into the fight.