A late exchange saw Rosa throw a spinning back elbow that clipped Jackson and opened a gruesome cut on the side of his eyebrow that immediately began pouring blood down on the octagon canvas. The fighters ended up locked in a grappling exchange and there were moments where Jackson was attempting to look for a submission and blood was just leaking out of his forehead in a steady stream as he continued fighting.
“When I squeezing to set in the choke, every time I squeezed, the blood would come out a little further,” Jackson said about the cut during the UFC Vegas 39 post-fight press conference.
It turns out, the initial collision didn’t stun Jackson as he kept trying to lock up a position on the ground once the fight went back down to the mat.
“I thought it was the back of his head that hit me originally,” Jackson said. “Then whenever I landed, like I had his back locked up, I realized it was his elbow. I had his back locked up and I thought that I would sink that choke in but he did such a good job with his defense.”
Because the fighters were still scrambling on the mat, the referee didn’t pause the fight until Jackson and Rosa finally got back to their feet.
By that time, the octagon floor along with both Jackson and Rose were absolutely covered in blood.
“It’s always kind of weird when you have your own blood in there,” Jackson said. “It’s like you smell it. I try telling people about no fans and stuff. It’s so weird when you don’t have like a whole arena making a bunch of noise. Cause I could hear whenever he hit me, I could hear him breathing and I could see that he saw that I was bleeding. I could hear the referee talking to me. You hear my coach and his coach talking, it’s such a weird feeling.
“Then I see my blood squirting out like two or three inches. It hit an artery. It hit something good. It was squirting really good. It was coming out the whole time. It was a steady stream of blood and I could just smell it. It’s always kind of weird. It doesn’t freak me out anymore. It’s weird. It’s not normal to get hit in the face and have your own blood all over someone. It’s nuts.”
Following the event, UFC president Dana White posted a before and after photo featuring Jackson’s cut along with the aftermath once the stitches were placed in his head.
Despite the horror movie amount of blood drenching the octagon from the cut, Jackson says he was never worried that the fight would be stopped because none of it was actually impairing his vision.
If that had been the case, the referee and ringside physician may not have allowed the fight to continue but Jackson had no issues with his eyes, which allowed him to stay the course to earn the unanimous decision victory.
“I think it pinpoint hit a perfect artery,” Jackson said about the cut. “It hit something where it was bleeding good but the cut, it’s like a long superficial cut but it’s not deep all the way through. It’s only deep in the middle. So I think it was like three stitches underneath and the rest of them were on the top.
“It was deep cause it hit something but it wasn’t a doctor’s stoppage. It was coming down the side of my eye. I could feel it was hitting my eyebrow and coming off the side. It wasn’t it in my eye.”