Appearing on The MMA Hour from his camp in Denver, Jackson detailed the circumstances that led him to question if he had a traitor in his midst relaying secrets to UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones' camp. Jackson said he had a similar feeling in 2010 when he prepared for his bout with Rashad Evans, but had no problems while preparing for recent bouts with Lyoto Machida and Matt Hamill.
Jackson said that in recent days, at least one comment made by Jones on Twitter reflected the goings-on in his camp. As a result, Jackson decided to put his team to the test, faking a hand injury at the end of a sparring session.
Within four hours, he says that UFC matchmaker Joe Silva had called his manager Anthony McGann, to ask about his hand. Jackson said that Silva told him Jones' manager Malki Kawa had raised concern about the hand, saying he had read about it on Twitter.
Jackson, though, says that his team searched Twitter and couldn't find a single mention of a hand injury. In fact, he says they searched the entire web and couldn't find any information about a potential hand injury in this specific camp.
Despite his ongoing belief that someone fed the information to Jones' camp, Jackson has not made any changes to his training team.
"I have a few ideas who the mole is," he said. "There's a bunch of people it can be. I don't want to point fingers. I'm not saying who it was. But whoever it is, I hope they believe in karma."
Jackson said he wasn't accusing of Jones or his camp of intentionally sending a spy into his camp, but that it seemed clear someone was sending them information nonetheless. Jones and Kawa have denied any allegations of wrongdoing, though both declined invitations to appear on The MMA Hour to give their sides of the story.
Given the high-profile nature of the fight, the "Spygate" issue isn't likely to subside anytime soon, even though Jackson seems ready to turn the page, even saying he was "kind of flattered" that such lengths are being taken.
"At the end of the day, I don't care," he said. "I'm very confident in this fight. You guys have no idea. A lot of people have counted me out in this fight, and I love it. I'm happy. It's like when I fought Chuck Liddell to get the title. No one counted me in. I'm OK with it. Jon Jones can set up camp and watch me train, for all I care because he won't be able to stop what I'm going to do to him."
While Jackson's camp is private, he has brought in a group of fighters to help him prepare, and he believes it's possible one of them could have ties to Jones' team. He said when each sparring partner arrives, he asks them not to release any information about the camp in any way, including social media platforms, a requirement he said he feels he has the right to ask since he is paying them.
As for the fight itself, Jackson says all the pressure is on Jones as the new champion to defend his belt and continue his forward momentum while in the spotlight. He also says he won't be frozen by fear of failure, an issue that sometimes gets the best of even the world's top athletes. He also said that even if Jones comes hard at him, he's shown he can stand up to some punishment before returning fire. Whether there's an infiltrator in his camp or it's mole-free, Jackson said on September 24, he'll be ready.
"I don't care about this spy in my camp," he said. "He, she or it can keep watching me, whoever it is. I'm training hard. I'm very confident. It ain't no secret that I'm going to try to throw these hands on Jon Jones. I'm pretty sure one, two, or three of my punches are going to land. I'm going to make them count every time they do. I'm just training my ass off for anything."
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