Jackson meets the former two-time champion in the main event of Bellator 283. The event takes place on Friday at the Emerald Queen Casino and Hotel in Tacoma, Wash., with the main card airing on Showtime.
With Jackson on an impressive five-fight winning streak compared to Lima’s current three-fight skid, “The Ass-Kicking Machine” feels Lima has lost the drive to make it to the top after being there a couple of times — and experiencing the money that comes along with it.
“I’ve learned that his time is up, because that spotlight is no longer on him,” Jackson told MMA Fighting. “The show must go on. At one point, he was the guy, but now the camera’s not on him no more. It’s no longer about him as much as people make it out to be. Now, I just have to show everybody that I’m the guy that the camera is going to be on. I’m the guy that people are going to be talking about.
“He won the grand prix twice, he made lots of money. It’s human nature if you’re not doing things to keep you hungry. It’s just like Conor McGregor — one point he was hungry, then he started making a lot of money and all that, and it just went away. It’s human nature.”
While it appears that current welterweight champ Yaroslav Amosov will next face Jackson’s teammate — and interim champ — Logan Storley in a title unification bout, Jackson is ready to prove he can no longer be overlooked in the title discussion on Friday.
“It’ll actually be an honor and a pleasure to beat this guy, and I’m going to be next in line for that title,” Jackson told MMA Fighting.
“It feels awesome [to be in this spot]. I work hard, and I didn’t know that I would be where I’m at now. I now know there’s going to be better to come, as well. I just look back at my work and just think, ‘Man, I’m happy.’ I’m excited to be here, and come July 22, it’ll be even better.”
Jackson is mentioned by many teammates — including Gilbert Burns, Robbie Lawler, Ian Garry, and others — for his unselfishness at Kill Cliff FC (formerly Sanford MMA) and getting them ready for big fights. While winning bouts and fighting for world titles mean a lot to him, having his name out there during big fight weeks shows he’s doing the right things in the gym, which will translate to doing the right things in the cage.
“When the guys around me speak highly of me, it just shows my growth,” Jackson said. “My name being out there shows that I’m getting somewhere, and now I’m excited to see myself in the main event — finally — and going up against a name like Douglas Lima, a two-time champ. It’ll be a good name to beat and put on my resumé.”