The Memphis, Tenn., native and former UFC light heavyweight champion is in his eleventh year as a professional fighter, and on June 20, he will turn 33-years-old.
According to Jackson he has about two years of fighting left in him:
“I’ve always said I’ll retire when I’m 35. I don’t want to fight past 35. There are young guys coming in and doing good. I’ve been fighting for a long time and it’s no secret that I don’t fight the same way I used to. I’ve got a lot of injuries, one or two things that bother me. But when I’m fighting, the injuries don’t bother me, it’s the training that gets old. Going through each camp I go through all these pains and think, ‘Man I don’t want to do this anymore’. But after the fight I say, ‘OK, I’ll give it one more’. So who knows? But at 35 I’m done.”
At least Jackson “keeps it real” and admits he is not the same fighter he used to be. So often we hear aging fighters say, “I feel I’m in the best shape of my life,” or “I’m the best I’ve ever been,” or something similar.
Hamill, at 34, is actually older than Jackson. However, in fighter years, which are like dog years, Jackson is definitely the senior citizen and Hamill the teenager.
A lot is on the line in this fight and the winner could find himself in title contention or close to it. Can Jackson get another title shot before he hangs it up or will Hamill add another win over a former champion to his resume and possibly earn a re-match with Jon Jones?
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