Damon Jackson suffered an awful bite during a fight with Charles Rosa in the preliminary round of UFC Vegas 39 on Saturday night.
UFC featherweight was caught with a rotating elbow that immediately opened the cut on the side of his right eyebrow at the start of the third round. The damage was obvious as the two went to the ground as Jackson blew up on his opponent and the canvas. With each submission attempt by Jackson, it looked like there was too much blood poured from the cut and the danger of stopping the fight. The referee finally requested the cogside doctor, and after an inspection, Jackson decided that he could proceed. They did so and won a unanimous decision over Rosa.
Jackson spoke at a press conference in Las Vegas with the media following his fight and explained what was happening in his head at such a dangerous moment. Shortly after the brief exchange, he realized he had been hit by an elbow, but he was trying to ignore the blood and get to a better place where Rosa could submit.
“It’s always awkward when you have your own blood,” Jackson said (via video MMA junkie) “You smell it. I’m not a fan and I try to tell people about things like that. It’s very strange when you don’t have a whole ring because I was listening whenever he hit me, I was breathing and I saw him bleeding. I was listening to the referee talking to me.” You hear my coach and his coach talking.
“Then I saw my blood spilling two or three inches,” Jackson continued. “It hit the artery. So, it hit the good thing and it was really good. It was coming out the whole time, so it was a constant stream of blood and I could smell it. It’s always kind of strange. It doesn’t haunt me anymore. It’s just strange. It is not uncommon to fall and bleed and have your own blood on anyone.
While cutting and blood is certainly a cause for concern, Jackson knew this was not enough for a stop by a doctor. The placement of the cut and the direction of the flow of blood did not hinder his vision in any way, so the scenario of ending the fight is unlikely.
“I think it hit the exact artery,” Jackson said. “It hit something in there, it was bleeding well, but the cut, it was a long rib cut. But it’s not deep at all. It’s only deep in the middle. It was coming from the side of my eye.
Jackson received 18 stitches to close the cut and said he was ready to fight again as soon as it healed. The victory over Rosa returned to the 33-year-old’s winning streak after a devastating knockout defeat to Ilia Topuria at UFC Vegas 16 last December.