American Top Team finally got on the board with Hayder Hassan picking up a big knockout victory against Andrews Nakahara of the Blackzilians last week on The Ultimate Fighter. The Blackzilians are suffering the sting of defeat while ATT is suddenly a confident group of fighters once again.
Blackzilians manager Glenn Robinson lets his team know they are going to pick Jason Jackson to fight this week based on the fact he openly campaigned for taking a fight in hostile territory. Coach Tyrone Spong followed Robinson’s speech with one of his own, telling guys it’s not about wrestling versus striking or strategy, but simply who wants to win more.
Jackson is still inexperienced, with just six professional fights, but he does sport a 4-2 record. His losses were to undefeated prospect Colby Covington and the aforementioned Hassan. He hails from Jamaica and expressed that he fights to make a better life for his family, a concept with which many fans can empathize.
ATT chose Marcelo Alfaya as their next fighter. Alfaya has been a professional MMA fighter since 2002 and sports a 16-7 record. ATT’s Dan Lambert alluded to the fact that Alfaya has a good stand-up game along with jiu-jitsu skills, and his diversity of finishes definitely vindicates that claim.
In the prelude to the fight, Jackson expressed confidence in his ability to fight his fight. He said he’s not afraid to engage in some grappling scrambles, but he plans on punishing Alfaya for his takedown attempts. Viewers are introduced to Alfaya’s pre-fight rituals, which are definitely some of the most unique in the sport of MMA.
As a reminder, here’s how the two teams stack up.
Round one began with a bit of a feeling-out process, with both men looking tentative for the first minute. Jackson was able to work on the outside and utilize his jab, but Alfaya eventually managed to push him into the fence. After a failed takedown attempt, Alfaya managed to take Jackson down. Jackson sprang back to his feet and returned to striking range quickly. The two men exchanged minor strikes on the outside, but the referee urged them to take action. Alfaya shot in with a takedown, but he couldn’t manage to do anything of note with it. The round ended with Alfaya pressing Jackson into the fence.
Round two started off with the two fighters looking a bit more active. Jackson kept a nice range and peppered Alfaya with straight punches. When Alfaya came in with a power punch, Jackson would simply evade it and circle. Jackson displayed a great awareness of distance even though he’s not as experienced as other members of the show. Alfaya failed to close the distance for much of the round, allowing Jackson to move around the cage and land jab after jab. Alfaya was finally able to press Jackson against the fence with a minute left, but the Blackzilians fighter managed to escape Alfaya’s grasp.