Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
The veteran grappler actually found a lot of success on the feet before eventually putting Kirk on the canvas, where Jackson was suffocating with his top pressure. “The Leech” eventually saw the opening he needed, latching onto an arm-triangle choke that forced Kirk to tap out at the 4:42 mark in the second round.
“He’s a solid dude,” Jackson said of Kirk. “Lot of potential, he’s young. I knew he had a really big jiu-jitsu background.
“I want someone in the top 15 [next]. I want someone top 15. I want to be challenged.”
While his ground acumen is largely recognized as his best weapon, Jackson showed no fear throwing hands in the opening round as he tagged Kirk with hard shots, which in turn set up the takedown.
From there, Jackson simply overwhelmed Kirk, who struggled to escape from the position aside from one brief armbar attempt that still didn’t allow him to get back to the feet.
The second round saw Jackson waste no time putting Kirk on the ground again, as he sought to pass through his guard to apply his submission arsenal. After nearly snatching the arm-triangle choke from full guard, Jackson locked down the position once he moved into half guard, and the grimace on Kirk’s face was undeniable.
A second later Kirk was forced to tap, with Jackson picking up his second submission win since returning to the UFC in 2020.
Now 3-1 in his past four fights, Jackson is looking for a step up in competition after dispatching another talented up-and-comer like Kirk.