Undefeated in his pro career, Jordan Young is hoping Bellator 210 will give him the opportunity to get a big push from the promotion — and get him the respect he feels he deserves.
Jordan Young made the move to light heavyweight one fight ago, and so far, the move is paying off. Now, with nine straight wins, three straight finishes, and seven submissions total in his career, he’s set to return at Bellator 210. His opponent will be the vastly more experienced Anthony Ruiz, with over fifty fights to his name. Young, however, isn’t sweating the experience difference. He’s just hoping that a big win this Friday in Thackerville, OK translates into a bigger push from the promotion.
“I feel amazing,” Young told us about fighting at light heavyweight. It’s his second fight at 205lbs, so he’s still getting used to the differences. However, “what’s been very important for me is that during camp, I’ve felt tremendous.” He’s eating well again, able to take advantage of his girlfriend’s cooking, with “no hesitation to eat up. Eat the right foods, eat the right amount, and make sure you recover instead of trying to starve your body and cut yourself off with a certain weight in mind.”
That doesn’t mean Young is done cutting weight entirely. “I’m trying to grow, I’m trying to add functional muscle,” he explained. For this camp, the cut will be about 15 to 18lbs, “but I’m trying to get that number up a little bit higher, I’d like to see 22 to 25 pounds for this weight class. I think that added size on my frame will benefit me well in this class.”
Despite fighters at 205 having a bit of a size advantage, Young feels his speed is a key factor. He also feels that with his leverage, and the strength that he has, he fits in well.
So far, no matter where he has fought, Jordan Young has fit in well. Perfectly, in fact. Young enters Bellator 210 at 9-0. Yet compared to the likes of A.J. McKee and Aaron Pico, he has flown relatively under the radar. “There was a little minute there a few months ago where I was kind of questioning why it is that a 23-year old, at 6″4, 79 inch reach who’s confident and fights as well as I do, and always comes out with the W— I wasn’t understanding why somebody like that wouldn’t get the push these other guys get,” Young admitted.
“The way to gain thousands of fans and really get recognized is to have the promotion amplify your persona.”
But he recognizes that “everybody’s situation is different, and I don’t concern myself with what other people have going for themselves.” Instead, he’s happy for everybody. “It’s all cash, no hate on my side. But I definitely would like to cash in, and get the respect I feel I deserve. Hopefully after this fight, we can start to see the tide change a bit with that.”
Improving his record to 10-0 should certainly help with that. Perhaps that will be the magic number for Bellator to really push him. The promotion getting involved, in Young’s opinion, is crucial. “The way to gain thousands of fans and really get recognized is to have the promotion amplify your persona, and push you through to the public,” Young told us. “I have what, five thousand followers on Instagram, and there’s like a million that Bellator holds. The more you’re in front of that million, the more you’re going to get for yourself, you know?”
Standing in the way of his tenth straight win is Anthony Ruiz (35-22). That’s a lot of cage time. Combating that experience isn’t something Young is sweating, however.
“I’m doing me. I’m going in there and handling business,” he said. “Sixty fights is a lot of fights, but I’ve been in this game since I was fifteen years old. I’ve been doing every part of this game for a long time now. So this is nothing new to me. I feel that 35-22 doesn’t make you a better fighter than 8-0, 7-0, some of these young, hungry guys that I’ve fought before.”
In terms of prepping for his opponent, Young is looking at himself. “I’m not too concerned with what he’s doing or how he’s showing up,” he said. Instead, he’s had about four weeks since his opponent was finalized, and he’s been working with “a host of guys” at American Top Team. That includes training with former UFC title challenger Thiago Alves. “Everybody around me is a legend in one of the combat sports or other,” Young told us. He’s looking forward to growing up through the sport and joining those legends.
On Friday at Bellator 210, Young will look to extend his undefeated streak, another step in the march to greatness. “I see this playing out with me getting my hand raised within the first ten minutes of the fight, by a finish, however that comes,” he said when asked how he sees the fight ending. “I think that my movement, and my technical abilities will be too much. I’m much younger, I’m much faster, much stronger, I’m a better athlete. I feel that the techniques that I’m using are much fresher and more mastered.”
Ultimately, though tough, Ruiz is “just a body in front of me with a lot of fights.”
As the competition level increases, Young knows that won’t be the case forever. He’ll have to pay more attention to his opponent’s specifics as he works his way up the ladder. “Some guys you can game plan for, but there’s no reason to game plan for somebody that has under ten fights [as with some of his past opponents], and you can only find two videos online.”
Although he’s looking to fight more frequently next year (three fights is his preference), Young said he’s only focused on Anthony Ruiz for now, and isn’t interested in rushing up the ladder at 205. But perhaps with a bigger push from the promotion, more fights and bigger names will come in 2019. Step one, defeat Anthony Ruiz at Bellator 210.
Jordan would like to thank his coaches and training partners at American Top Team, plus his sponsors FlavRX, Elite Edge, J&K Complete Auto Care, and Apeman Strong. Follow him on Instagram via @Jay185