UFC Fight Island 3: Jesse Ronson’s Return “Better Than Christmas”

At UFC Fight Island 3, Jesse Ronson made his first Octagon appearance since 2014, and did it in style with a first round stoppage.

It took a short-notice fight during a global pandemic, but Jesse Ronson is finally back with the UFC. He last fought in the Octagon in 2014, falling to an exceptionally tough string of opponents in Michel Prazeres, Francisco Trinaldo, and Kevin Lee. Then, UFC Fight Island 3 marked his first victory with the promotion after submitting Nicolas Dalby in the first round.

Ronson described the feeling of not only getting the chance to fight again, but winning inside the Octagon for the first time.

“It’s like a dream come true,” Ronson told Cageside Press after the win. “I’m still waiting to wake up. Did my plane crash on the way here? Is this for real? It’s hard to explain. This is just something that I’ve learned is better than any birthday or Christmas. It feels so good. This is something that you’ve wanted your whole life and then I finally got that win and you know what? It’s not enough, I want more wins. I should have been here for the last seven years.”

It wasn’t the win that drew a lot of attention online, though, it was his callout of Luis Pena and Jalin Turner afterward paired with his disdain for tall lightweights. While this bout took place at welterweight, he’ll be heading back down to 155 next and hopefully against one of those two names.

“Tallest guy I’ve ever fought was Matt Dwyer,” Ronson said. “He was 6’5″ and that was at 170. Even still, after the fight, he beat me, but I was like, ‘Dude, man, you’re way too tall to be 170.’ I just I don’t know what it is. I got a lot of tall guys at the gym and I do really really well against tall people. The wrestling is almost negated because they have to get under me to take me down and at 6’3″ it’s hard to get under me. Their body’s just exposed all day and I can just rip the guts. I love fighting tall people.”

When it comes down to it, Pena would be the preferred opponent for him to kick out of the division.

“Luis Pena for sure,” Ronson said. “That’s the guy that comes to mind. He’s the most experienced. He’s got more fights. The other guy’s 9-5. I don’t know how he is doing in the UFC, but Luis Pena’s got more fights and I’ll take that all day.”

Ronson’s hoping to be a part of a resurgence in Canadian MMA in the wake of Georges St. Pierre’s retirement. UFC Fight Island 3 was a good start on that journey, with himself and fellow countryman Tanner Boser scoring stoppage victories.

“GSP is the face of Canada for MMA,  he’s the captain of the team,” Ronson said. “I feel like at my age, I’m the captain of the team right now. I may not be the best Canadian fighter that we got, but I definitely feel like when it comes to Canadian fighters, [I’m the] captain of the team. I bring the whole team and we’ll win, crush it, everything else.”

Ronson later clarified his “captain of the team” statement on Twitter, but the message of unity remains strong.

“It’s Team Canada all the way,” Ronson said. “Everybody’s gotta unite like they did for Conor McGregor in Ireland. You got to do that for our Canadian fighters in Canada to bring it back like we did for GSP. We can do that for everybody else.”

Jesse Ronson took full advantage of the opportunity at Fight Island and seems to be here to stay. Look out, tall fighters.