In a fight, there’s little margin for error. In a heavyweight fight, even more so. If a fighter doesn’t enter the Octagon as fully prepared as possible, they are going to find their face planted on the canvas, their arm snapped off or, at the very least, land on the losing end when the judges reach their verdict.
Every fighter at the highest level has the physical tools to win a fight, so finding an edge outside of the cage is crucial. Shawn Jordan understands. Look no further to his three-fight winning streak as proof. It’s his mental maturity outside the cage that has better prepared him for the struggle inside those eight panels of chain link.
“The mental part of this game is the hardest part of this,” Jordan told Combat Press. “You have to realize that at the end of the day, it’s just a fist fight.”
“You have to accept the fact that you’re going to go through an emotional jump and fall. One second you’re like, ‘Yeah, it’s just a fight. I’m about to go to work and it’s going to be fine,’ and the next second you’re like, ‘Shoot!,’ and you don’t know if you’re scared, uncomfortable or nervous. The more you do this, the more you accept that having such a wide range of emotions is going to happen, and you don’t let it control you and you just get back to being comfortable.”
Achieving a sense of comfort shouldn’t be a responsibility squarely rested on the fighter’s shoulders, which is why it’s paramount that a fighter is surrounded by experienced coaches. Whether it was earlier in his career at Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA or now at American Top Team, Jordan has had the luxury of having coaches that understand the sport inside and out.
“Roger [Krahl] does a real good job,” said Jordan “He knows I need to just relax and not get worked up. We work well together and he knows how to handle me on fight week. Some coaches are kind of antsy, or some fighters get antsy, but Roger just let’s me be. We go work out, hang out, eat, do whatever. And when it’s time to fight, I’m ready.”
On Saturday, Jordan will seek to prove just how ready he is by continuing his recent success inside the Octagon. Undefeated in his last three fights for the UFC, Jordan will be in a “fist fight” with Ruslan Magomedov, who hasn’t seen defeat since May 2011. A chance to vault up the rankings is at stake when the two meet at UFC 192 in Houston, and there’s also the chance to prove the organization’s faith for putting them on the main card of a pay-per-view was well placed.
“It’s a good feeling. It’s nice to be on a main card for a big pay-per-view, and I love being in Texas.”