Damon Jackson graduated from Durant High School in 2007 with a college scholarship in wrestling. He has continued to follow a blueprint for catching his dreams since that time.
Jackson recently graduated from Missouri Valley College as an All-American wrestler. During his off season he fought in amateur bouts in mixed martial arts fight leagues. He plans to turn pro in September.
He recently returned to Durant to offer his expertise and advice at the Lions wrestling camp. He credits wrestling coach Jim Taylor with getting him started in the sport.
“Wrestling is one of the best backgrounds you can have going into MMA,” the well-known initials for the popular fighting style Jackson has adopted. “It gives you an upper edge.”
Jackson earned the title of “Show Fight Champion” in the 170-pound class in amateur fighting. He plans to enter the 155-pound class at the pro level after a 6-1 record in the show fight series.
“Once I started training for MMA, my goal was to get into (Ultimate Fighting Championship),” he said. “There’s so much I’ve got to do to get to that point. I’m working on my boxing, and my motivation is to get better on my feet.”
Parents Terry and Cherry Jackson of Durant have been supportive every step of the way, he said, driving all over the region to various wrestling matches during high school. They now brag about his signature move, the “banana split.”
He began MMA-style boxing in 2009. “Wrestling is more controlled. MMA is a newer sport, and it changes quite a bit as people are putting their own style into it,” Jackson said. “If you’re good at a certain style, you can finish a fight every time.”
Jackson coaches part time at Ozark High School, trains twice a day and has started a family. He met a volleyball player at MVC and they now have two daughters. They call Springfield, Mo., home.