Teams are important in any culture, whether it’s business, sports or just civilization in general. A good set of teammates can help support each other during the good times and the bad, but even a great team is reliant on individual execution.
There are many teams in MMA, from big ones to small ones. The size of the team, however, has not necessarily guaranteed performance. It is still up to the individual to succeed alone in the cage. Legacy Fighting Alliance standout “Nasty” Nate Jennerman knows about this firsthand.
“I started training when I was 16 years old,” Jennerman told Combat Press. “I had been watching the UFC on TV, and a friend told me there was a local gym in my hometown of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. I went to go check it out, and I fell in love with it.
“From day one, the training was awesome, and I fell in love. I’ve always been a competitive person, and there’s nothing more competitive than one-on-one sports. You can’t rely on a team to help you win. You are in there by yourself. Roufusport is a very [team-oriented] culture, but when it comes down to it, one person is in the cage, and you’re in there with one other person. I love the competition, I love the training, and I love everything about it. I love martial arts.”
The 25-year-old’s love of the sport is pretty apparent in his performances. He’s now 12-3 as a pro. Jennerman has finished almost everyone he’s faced, too. His last performance, which came at LFA 41 in June against Kevin Croom, ended in under a minute.
“It was only 48 seconds, but I came out, I landed some clean combos before he shot in, and then I got the choke in,” Jennerman said. “That’s just what I need to do every single time — come out [and] start throwing my strikes right away. If they want to stay standing and keep catching the hands, I’ll do that. A lot of people are going to shoot once I start hitting, so I’ve just got to keep doing that until then.”
On Friday night, the LFA heads to The Bomb Factory in Dallas for its 47th event. The Wisconsin native will vie for the LFA featherweight title against UFC veteran Damon Jackson in the evening’s top-billed bout. While he will certainly rep his Roufusport coaches and teammates, Jennerman faces Jackson in one-on-one combat in the all-too-familiar LFA cage.
Jackson, like Jennerman, has finished almost all of his fights. “The Leech” actually fights out of Dallas, so he will have the hometown advantage. However, Jennerman could not be happier about the match-up.
“I was amped up,” Jennerman admitted. “That’s the guy I called for. It was nothing personal. It was strictly business. He has the most fights and the most wins in LFA history. I have the second-most fights and the second-most wins in LFA history. We’re both in the same weight class, so it makes sense that we should fight. We’ll see who deserves the most wins in LFA history right now.
“Stylistically, I think it’s a very good match-up. It’s a very fan-friendly match-up. You know, he comes in with 15 wins and 14 finishes, and I come in with 12 wins and 10 finishes. We’re both looking to finish the fight, and he’s got 12 sub[mission]s and I’ve got 10. We both hit them from different ways, but we’re both out there to finish people. Unfortunately for Damon Jackson, I’m going to be the one to get the finish.”
Currently, Jennerman is riding a three-fight winning streak. Jackson, meanwhile, has won four in a row. Both guys are chomping at the bit to get a shot in the Octagon, and it all goes down on AXS TV on Friday night.
“People should tune in to watch this fight,” said Jennerman. “Damon Jackson’s a UFC vet, and he’s still a top-tier fighter in the world. I think he’s better than a lot of guys who are in the UFC. This is a UFC-caliber fight for free on TV.”