UFC Vegas 69: Jamal Pogues Talks Long Journey To UFC, Sends Message Home

Las Vegas, NV – After holding off on his UFC debut due to personal issues heavyweight Jamal Pogues earned his first official win under the promotional banner when he earned a decision over Josh Parisian at UFC Vegas 69 on Saturday night.

“I don’t have words right now to be honest with you. Just kind of stuck right now, disbelief but, probably in a couple hours I’ll let you know, but right now I’m just…living in the moment,” Pogues told Cageside Press among other media on Saturday.

“Can’t believe it’s real.”

The journey has been a long one for Pogues who finally makes it to his UFC debut. The heavyweight looked back at how long it took to get to the big stage.

“Man, 14 years to get here, and I’m here now so that’s the crazy about everything. It’s a surreal moment. You can play these moments in your head a bunch of times and now I’m like I did it. I can scratch that off my bucket list so far,” Pogues said.

“Hard work works you know? If I’ve got to be a testament to the end of my career hard work works. We’re not going to be able to figure out this puzzle piece, eventually, but you know it’s a like a rubix cube. You keep going, you keep going, you’re going to solve it,” he said.

“Mentally it was always me and myself so I finally got it done.”

For Pogues it’s about more than just himself as he knows he not only represents himself, but the people in his community.

“You know I got so much love from people from my city man. Like they really watch and they gave me, you know, they were messaging me. It’s this long message, I don’t even have my phone, but it made me tear up because the guy said you’re going to be the hope that we need for the city. You’re going to have to hold the weight for the city for a while til the next person comes,” Pogues said.

“It means a lot man, but to the kids man, it ain’t cool being tough man. Like I’m going to be honest with you. I didn’t get anything from being tough man, and I can honestly say that with the best of my abilities. I got friends that’s been killed, I have family that’s been killed, and you get nothing from being tough. For me this my way out man. This is a testament to my self.”

Watch the rest of the post-fight scrum with Jamal Pogues above.