UFC Vegas 90: Damon Jackson Survives Knockdown, Out-Grits Alexander Hernandez

Alexander Hernandez and Damon Jackson, UFC Vegas 90
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 06: (L-R) Damon Jackson kicks Alexander Hernandez in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on April 06, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

A battle of fatal flaws went down in UFC Vegas 89’s co-main event between Damon Jackson and Alexander Hernandez.

Damon Jackson was brutally knocked out by Dan Ige in his last fight, showcasing the flawed chin that has led to him suffering some brutal knockouts in his career. But his cardio and pace could expose his foe’s suspect gas tank, as Hernandez has been well-known to gas out and lose late in fights. He also missed weight, potentially maybe to a tough weight cut.  Still, Alex’s prodigious power could be his key to winning if his right hand could find Jackson’s chin. In the end, both man pushed through and survived scares with their respective flaws to make it to a close decision, which Jackson edged out.

The striking was balanced early in round one and then Jackson got to a clinch, where he looked to grapple. He had a rear body-lock temporarily but Hernandez turned into him and escaped. Hernandez seemed to have an advantage with the boxing but Damon Jackson’s calf kicks made Alex since every time they landed. Damon tried another takedown; though he failed he softened up Alex’s thighs with short knees constantly for nearly a minute. Then he was indeed able to land a takedown. Though he could not flatten Hernandez out and establish strong control he ended the round in a control position.

The second round began with Alex pressing forward but having trouble tracking down Jackson. The striking felt awkward as both were too far out of range to land, most of the time. Ninety seconds in they each landed a strong punch simultaneously, and from there Hernandez found a few clean punches in the next minute. However Jackson’s next land popped open Hernandez’s nose, which bled profusely. The round was very close, but then Jackson landed his first takedown of the frame. Jackson waited for his chance and scrambled to Alexander’s back, quick as lightning. He got both hooks in and then the body triangle as he attacked the choke. When he was unable to land it he punched away from the back, putting the round firmly in his pocket.

Potentially down two rounds, Hernandez had to find a finish in the third. He almost did just that by coming right out and dropping Jackson with a right hand. His ground and pound was stifled just enough to keep him from finishing but he got into full mount in a scramble. From there Alex hunted an arm triangle but Jackson scrambled to his feet and landed a knee, then dove for a takedown. From the clinch he set up a unique throw to take down Hernandez, take the back, and flatten him out. However Hernandez got his butt in the air and shook Damon off the top. But it was Alex who seemed to be fading, so Jackson went for another takedown. Hernandez dug deep and stayed up, but was stuck in the clinch. Jackson stalled him there for a long time, with Alex maybe too tired to separate and throw haymakers. Finally they both let their hands go for the final ten seconds.

The scorecards were expected to be close and took a while to be tabulated. When they were read it was a split. The first judge had it 30-27 for Hernandez, an odd scorecard which turned out to be the outlier, as the other two had it 29-28 Jackson, giving Damon the win.

Official Result: Damon Jackson def. Alexander Hernandez by Split Decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)