Ep. #8 – Dequan Townsend

Dequan Townsend is a mixed martial artist who competes in the UFC’s middleweight division. All three of his UFC fights have been on short notice and is aiming for an end of the year return with a full training camp.


Dequan Townsend: How’S that how’s training going it’s been difficult to train, but you know I’ve been trying to make it work best of my abilities. I’Ve been doing a lot of really a lot of car parts. Basically, the main thing I can’t do right now: yeah so yeah, so you’re, you’re you’re in Michigan – is that correct? I am yeah so yeah I I do. I’M gon na count bitrate. I do this kind of like on the side for fun and yeah. We work with a lot of a lot of the jails there in Michigan and that’s what I’m hearing I’m hearing that you know everything. There’S lockdown and a lot of them are being sent home a lot of the staff, so here Michigan’s, definitely not one of the best better States to be in through all of us. So is it actually so far the ice in Detroit has the highest rise of the coab in 19. So far, even though New York is the most popular, it’s, the most populated didn’t have the biggest number Tory had the highest peak. The fastest peak. Should I say yeah we yeah cuz, when we like my my boss went down and he was in a he was in Seattle and that’s when it really started to pick up there. Washington was bad and then it made its way into Michigan and yeah from what all our business is down there and everything’s closing down and everything. So I’m glad glad things with you are going going. Alright, I guess and yeah yeah here here we can get fine for being out in the street and stuff, so just got ta stay safe and I guess the first question I have is you know with like, for example, the UFC 249 seems to be the only Card going on and all of them are they as a fighter? What does it like? What what would be with the things you need to consider? You know, obviously, from a fan perspective, it’s a fight. Why not, but from a fighter perspective, what are some of the things you have to weigh before making the decision to to fight on that card honestly right now, you have to make sure you have a proper training. Your training regimen is very important right now, we’re all us as far as one able to really train in any big facilities or any gyms, because they’re now allowing us to have no more than four people in there, not to mention. We can’t really have good partners and good grappling partners, good sparring partners, because of the lack of resources that we were limited to not to mention in when this, the the cope in nineteen it pretty much is a texture immune system so as cutting weight as a Fighter you have to be extremely careful because we cut weight and when we cut our weight in like a water weight and a dieting, you know pretty much dehydrate our bodies um. It weakens our immune system. So if we get, if we do happen to catch it, then it’s gon na be twice as hard on this yeah. A lot of people don’t look at it that way, because it’s like oh, these guys are professional athletes it’ll, just they won’t even notice and, like you said it’s almost the opposite, especially when you’re cutting weight and you’re putting your body through that sort of making your Body suffer a little bit just to just to make weight body is actual weakest with is when we is when we’re doing the the water overload and depleting our body of water and cut our weight, that’s how we were susceptible to catching. You know staph infection. Even this disease, that’s going on no just a common cold, because our immune system is pretty much working over our bodies. It’S going through a lot. It’S a major adjustment yeah! Yes, absolutely! You know a lot of a lot of fans. Don’T look at it that way! Right, it’s yeah fight, fight fight, and you know it’s it’s good to give them perspective. I guess, from a fighter’s perspective, on some of the the impacts that they could they could face. I guess more, I guess back to your your career, what I watched the last fight against Devin Clark, and I thought I thought your performance was – was really really good, considering you took it on how much notice was at three weeks, not even that I took that Fight or nine days, nine days, yep nine days if I’m almost correct night is except for Wednesday, Texas, so from Wednesday, yeah about nine days nine days notice. What was the? What was the mindset there? What was the decision behind you know what nine days? Let’S do it my the reason being. This is the thing I had um fought. I had fought previously twenty-one days prior and I fought to be run. I fought against Yvonne Lewis at 185 and when I did, I told him I had told him. I managed me you know, I’m said honestly. I lost that fight by decision. I did not like the way that fight went. I did not like the way the judges for that card. I am them yeah, you know a yeah. Obviously you know there’s a difference. We would have actually you’ll see rest and you have guys who are feeling that certain cars are not necessarily UFC refs, they ref differently. You know what I’m saying yeah and you know again his hand was raised, so it is what it is. But the thing is is at that time I felt like I worked so hard for such a little performance and I was upset so I had talked my manager now told my manager. I said you know what I’m still in fight shape. I want to take another fight, I haven’t said no damaged. There was no fight, the dude pretty much held me the whole time. It wasn’t a fight. I was the one who trying to engage into a fight. He didn’t want that. He turned anyone turned into a holding match. I’M like you know what, let’s you know, look for another fight for me, um. Obviously I planned on fighting at 85, which is my actual weight class cuz. That’S what I fight at, but they had told me that there was a feelings, but at 205, even though it wasn’t outside of my weight class. That’S the only thing that had that was available at this time and um things was limp, getting pretty limited for me. So I was like you know if it is what it is Ronnie you know I’m saying so I took fight, you know against different Clark in you need again. You know I wanted to fight. I feel like there’s no reason for me to wait in that day. I got there in Albuquerque, I weighed in that day a tool to the next day heard that Friday I weighed in at 202, and then I kept trying to put on weight all week, but the next you know the next day I got up to 206 me. I’M saying yes, he was laying at the weigh-in wait and he’s probably at 220 225. You know it was a good 239 that was that was pretty much longer right, because you know we. They weigh us in three times a lot of people. Don’T know that you know exam so yeah. He had a good thirty pounds, but maybe is what it is. No. I wanted to actual fight, though, like it seemed like he was trying to win safely by any means necessary, but not really trying to finish me, but to be comfortable. You know anything yeah get the W yeah yeah and it’s yeah yeah. That’S one of the things I like about your style is: you’ve got a long range to begin with, and you like to come forward and that’s I really like your style and that’s a I mean you. I saw it in the first fight that you had in the UFC. I really liked that fight. I know it didn’t go your way, but III thought that was you know someone who actually entertained your style. I thought your performance stood out there because it was. You know two guys who actually wanted to engage right and you got think about it. All three of my fights so far all be short notices and I’ve been the one who stepped in every last, one of them that fighting on UFC debut had to cut 25 pounds. I took it on three days notice and it was outside of my weight class. You know so me, my management. We agree, my managers, Jason house from reading sports agency. We agreed that my next fight in UFC they were taking it on full camp. I don’t know ahead of time, so the UFC can actually see my potential because I feel like they only have yet to see a glimpse of what I can do. You know what I’m saying I mean I’m taking these fights or notice, which part of it is my. You know it’s on me. It’S my decision, but it’s more like I don’t know, I’m still learning how to spend those. I don’t I’m not familiar with you know. Do I take these opportunity now, or I mean I get to me in a couple years. I don’t know how they work, so it was more of like i’ma jump on that. It’S only as long as it comes, because I’m not afraid to fight nobody. You know yeah and you have a um, I mean you’ve got you had 28 pro fights before even making it to the UFC. So you know you don’t take a short notice. Fight to get in, you know, will that opportunity come up again, etc, etc. So those those are definitely things – you’ve got away right exactly 33 years old. I mean this is thing like they look at it, look at it as well he’s 33, or so he may be washed up, or he may past his prime. But I’ve been lucky enough to lose most of my fights, my decision, like even the fight when I fought, though, which of my UFC debut, even though the referee has stopped the fight that was the early stoppage like. I was completely into the fight. You know what I’m saying I was war walking during that time. I even talked to the ref. I thought it’s because he do believe an elbow. I’M like I’m at that’s the point. That’S the first thing. I was completely responsive 100 %, and you know he did say later on and after looking at the videos that it was a. You know that from his angle, it looked worse than what it actually was and his job is to protect the fighters, which I could understand that you know what I’m saying, but as the 30 as a 35 veteran. At that time, you should at least give warnings. You never gave me a warning. You never said anything, you know what I’m saying if I’m improperly defending myself say something you know what I’m saying, because at that time I was covered well and I was walking the cage. That’S the most action. I’Ve got this guy to actually move so when he was moving. I was in the process of flipping him and reversing them, because I knew that on his back. He is horrible. I know this, you know I was trying to give him a tire himself out. I mean that’s pretty much what it was, but again these are fights that are in the past on today I can do is look for to something in the future, but I’m going to make sure that we have a four camp and I’ll be ready for it. That way they can, you know, reconsider anything if they ever decided. They want to cut me. You know I’ll make sure right now, I’m in good standings. You know they appreciate the fact that I take five short notice. They appreciate the fact that I always try to bring, though the fight to any opponent that I fight you know yeah, I always bring yeah, you know, yeah yeah, I mean you’ve lost three fights, but all three of them have been you initiating it. You wanting to fight – and I think that I mean you’ve seen it before like there are guys who have winning records, Elias Theodore, who was a middleweight while back, he didn’t say me when he was doing really well, but his style wasn’t fan pleasing and I think You know UFC tends to reward guys who who who put on who put on a show and that’s the that’s the way you fight, and that was one of the things that I was like. I got to get this guy on the show, because I like I like the way you fight and I, like your your you know, you took you, took a fight on nine days notice. I thought it was three weeks. Nine days notice losing your first two UFC fights. Nobody takes that risk and I think that that stands out and I think you know you get rewarded for taking a gamble like that and then, as for speaking for you said, you wanted to take some time and make sure you get a good training camp. Is there obviously, with the cove in nineteen and all that who knows when anyone’s gon na be able to get back in the Octagon? But do you have a do? You have a date you’re, like you know what that’s more or less when I’d wan na fighters there a timeline there. Well, I wanted to get a fight in this year. I was looking towards the end of the year, but due to this Kovach situation, I’m not even sure if that’s possible, like we don’t know, what’s going on, we don’t know how long this epidemic is. Epidemic is gon na last. So it’s kind of putting a lot of things on stand, I’m unable to really even actually train like I want to train, I planned on my two of my main gyms that I go back and forth between that. I started going back and forth between that. I’M putting a lot of effort into making these things happen, which was feed back and forth in Vegas, Xtreme, Couture and going to Colorado. I could actually train with you know not much fun, but train and factory AG, saying Duane Ludwig saying Easton Jitsu like I was planning on going back and forth. You know each month, okay, whatever fight I had and then I was for three weeks and I’d be in Colorado for the remaining three weeks and I would finished my two weeks of my camp at home in Michigan. No I’m saying before I flew, I thought, make sure I had a four camp and I can actually focus but doing this now it’s like there’s. I can’t even put a date on it. You know I’ll be lucky. If you know I have, if I get afraid in the game next year, because you know this is putting everything on hold a lot of other fighters that are in them before us like them and has like over two hundred three hundred fighters. You know I’m saying so for me to be on any cars, then pretty much now, because all these other fights in advance they had to be cancelled. All these matchups. That were already say that you know that I know that he still wants to put on. You know it’s like I’m lucky, I’m getting under car, no yeah, I saw yeah, so the UFC was supposed to have an event there in in England, and two of the fighters ended up competing as UFC fighters on was it Cage Warriors or they fought for another Organization as UFC fighters is that something that you would consider doing or are you strictly I’m only fighting UFC, I’m Chris trick. We fight only UFC, no reason why I’m not find I worked hard to get. I worked hard to be preserved, so I feel like not to discredit any of the promotion. It’S just the fact that I had offers in Bellator before I’ve had offers. You know Peter feel that’s easy. I promised my son that I would make it to the UFC and then I would get my hand raised there and I still have yet to come. I still have yet to complete my promise to my child, so therefore I don’t want to step in in the organization to I can become fulfil my promise. So you know. Obviously work is working. You know we all have duty calls, but my number one goal is to still remain and be active, see: yeah yeah. No, I agree if I was. If I was in your shoes, I would do the exact same. You know we you work hard to make your maker, you know you get to a big organization and even if you have to sit out next for two months to make sure you’re on a UFC card, I get it. It makes sense. I guess we’ll stick with the the you know: a UFC they’re. Obviously, news came out a couple days ago on the John Jones incident, but I haven’t asked anybody of this. Yet anyone who’s competed, I guess in the UFC and obviously you hate to see it. You know someone like that: a young athlete who’s, obviously the best in the world, in my opinion, the best of all time. What what’s your take on it? Do you think you know? What do you think the proper measure hit is here from from from an organizational standpoint? Do you think you know, even if there is no legal repercussions, do you think they need to take a step back and be like look, you’ve IVA, you know this. Isn’T the first time you’ve done this or do you think it’s like you know what it he’s? A fighter you know what he does and his personal life is not any of our concern. You know we deal with that separately. Well, what’s what’s your take on it me personally, I feel like John Jones is the self-destruction in itself. I am a John Jones Fame. Yeah, 100 %. You know I like John Jones, you know I’m saying I just feels like you know he he’s his own worst enemy there. Certainly I’m saying I don’t think that he really follows or think before he makes some of the choices that he makes. You know what I’m saying and it’s part of being young, it’s part of being young, it’s own part of living. The dream is part of being labeled, powerful town, one the best in the world. So you feel, like you, couldn’t do anything in the world touchable but you’re, not. You know what I’m saying he has to be careful and to be mindful that he is an icon and that he is a role model. A lot of people look up some. You know, as far as you have seen the UFC standpoint, I don’t know because they say stripped him before and you know he has issues so we have they stripped him before, and that was his consequence as far as stripping him with in again, we don’t really Know the ins and outs of the situation – all we know is way then put on on the tabloids, TMZ and you know, and our anime junkie. We don’t really know the the ins and outs and one really happening or what was going on. You know. So you know his situation, can you drop misdemeanor or anything? You know from what the things they were saying is that you know he was in this vehicle when the police approached him, his car wasn’t even over approached. You know pinoke on the car. He wasn’t drinking and driving because he wasn’t driving. Do you know what I’m seeing um and as far as I’m finding a gun – and the other thing was, is what you know I mean? Does he have a CC that we think people that they’re not considering or they’re, not saying they’re just going from how the outside looking name? So my opinion is for the US is, I don’t feel like they should make any type of consequences until they find out 100 %. It was you know, and if any of these legal standpoint will prevent him from fighting, then I can understand you stripping him or creating in turn title for somebody fight for the interim title and then for them to fight the champ when the champ returns. No I’m saying close controversy, so you know, and then we have. I came to pronounce his name, the guy who just be a poor, innocent young, black black of age or whatever. It is. Since I am in a car, you know in Albuquerque um. Maybe you know have one of those guys fight for interim title and then you know go for mayor, but I don’t feel like he should be stripped directly right now: yeah yeah, I think it’s been too early and me the whole sports kind of on standstill anyway. So you know February 8th, he’s not up to define to no title no time some women, yes yeah yeah yeah. He had three fights like great back-to-back Anthony Smith and the two that you mentioned: Thiago Santos and Dominic Reyes, I mean yeah. I mean he’s been active year year. You know I’m saying so. He’S good get this taken care of in sit back, maybe follow the guys and don’t get your ass, no more trouble, yeah yep! What’S so we talked about a date for you is there? Is there a name that comes to mind like you’re like huh, you know I’d like to fight this guy or is it you know I’ll worry about that closer to the date? Is there to match my style? I am tired, even though this is chess, not checkers. I feel like I want to fight somebody who’s willing to bring out the best in me to bring up the potential that I really have yet to show the UFC. I want to fight something that you know case. They really beneficial to me because anything if anything’s worries now we’ve had no, but at the same time my my goal was to get the top 15 years. I do you know, I’m I’m looking at some of these guys. I, like I, like the bread. I, like the bread, two bears fight. I do like I’m really like that fight. You know it he’s Hawaiian, so you know he’s gon na bring it like. That’S their. They come to fight. You know, you know, I just want it. I want to strike. It wasn’t sustained in pain. That’S just having good time know what I’m saying um, you know uh they a lot of people mention Uriah Hall stylist. When you have a good matchup, you know um. He that you know. That’S a good, that’s a pretty good situation, but I mean really I just I’m gon na have to prepare myself for anybody. You know I yeah. I do want to be in the top, the top 15, but I’m grateful for whatever they put in front of me. As long as they give me something that stylistically matches up, you know I’m saying yeah I mean I think you deserve that three short notice fights. You know I feel like. I honestly feel like. I deserve a fight that as action stylist it matches up and that’s in my favor I’ve done the UFC failures. They’Ve gave me the privilege and honor to to represent their brand and represent to fight them. So I will always be grateful, but I really feel like I deserve a break yeah. Absolutely. I guess a couple more questions. What what’s your prediction for the only MMA card that could possibly happen in the next few months. 2:49. You have a prediction for the potential main event that may or may not happen could be even Tony. I’M doubt I’ve died, you know what truthfully, I doubt the caboose live, if he’s already in Russia and Russia’s not allowing him to leave the country laughs, I don’t actually believe that it’s going to be. I believe that gay Chi this case she just don’t give a [ __ ]. You know I’m saying he no, and I think that this is the crazy part, though truthfully I’ve always told people this my two predictions of the people who can actually be to be one with the people that are facing each other, which is Tony Ferguson and Kate. Just engage you, those are only two people that I feel like stylistically, that can be could be because of they have that they have faith in bring the forward pressure, which we all know could be his only weakness is he could not fight more Beckett’s. Cannot I’m saying they have both Tony Ferguson in just in case she has in this car? Do you know they both have wrestling backgrounds and they both have jets backgrounds, so that’s gon na be a tough matchup for them. You know I’m saying yeah. I believe those two people are the only two people and 155 that can be could be those only two people. I saw like it in that total vision. You know it would suck that they fought each other. I would hate to see that, because you know I don’t know who win, but at the same time I would like to see one of those guys face competing and I feel like the opposite. The whoever wins. I thought they both have a chance to fight could be, if could be losses if he wins. If he beats more, you know I’m saying yeah, but I feel like if just differences of Justin beat Tony Ferguson, then if I could be Tony Ferguson, it’s not gon na be do to fight could be for another situation. Well, maybe it would be a because they didn’t want to match that matchup for so long. They probably still give him that opportunity, but I feel like just engage. He has fought some people who deserve to be and that that little pool of potential contenders, but if he beats he loses to Tony Ferguson, he’s gon na it’s gon na set him back yeah, so you don’t need it almost eliminates. One of the contenders yeah is that and I guess for someone on MMA content, what uh any recommendations? What are you? What are you watching? What do you? What are you doing during quarantine? Any any TV shows any movies. I’Ve been trying. I’Ve been trying to get give myself active in a social media life to be more interactive with fans. Talk shows, you know podcasts as much as possible, just to get my name out there just to get the people to to remember the tarantula I haven’t had I’ve had a chance to get quick statement or impact on the UFC world. Yet but I’m going to it, when I do I want, then I want the 185 division to know that they have a problem on their hands. I just haven’t had a chance to showcase the yet, but it’s only because of this that this I’ve been I’ve been at a disadvantage which I knew you know what I’m saying and that’s. Okay, it’s just if you look at the ends and the outs of these disadvantages. I’Ve always brought the fight and that even on short notice, the sole for them to be aware that at full potential, what problem I’m going to be you know, but as far as watching um any shows man, I’ve been I’ve been watching like The Walking Dead man. I’Ve been trying to find out something to watch. There are long, full seasons that I can just try to occupy my time, so I started watching The Walking Dead. I per watched it yet you know so we see what where that goes, yeah and I guess a question I just thought of right now, uh. So as a like, I’m just thinking, you know, as I have a little brother who’s 11 years old, and if he came up to me and said you know what I want to be an MMA fighter. I’D hit him upside the head, be like no you’re, not you’re like you’re, no way right if, as someone who’s, who’s, obviously fought and he’s has 30-plus fights. If, if your kid came up to you and said you know what I want to be a fighter and what what advice, I guess, would you give to parents who have kids who want to want to do martial arts is to be active at some type of Activity and type of sports right now, for instance, Mike my boys. I have all boys when my boys, you know he’s in he’s in wrestling from wrestling the football and I teach him. You know pad work and teaching. You know martial arts myself just so they can learn how to defend themselves. There ever comes down to a break is if it depends, if they actually really want to do this, I mean it’s always you don’t put me like a Taekwondo, or you know just something for them to be active and see if this is what they want to Do and they decide if they’re talking about fighting later when they get older, but so then there was. The thing is as us as young kids, these days and growing up in this world. Mixed martial arts is probably one the best type of discipline. You can give a grown up coming kid because it teaches us different discipline and self-control, and you know how to be able to handle anger. You know so I’m all, for you know I am I’m hopefully yeah. I do like. I did a little bit of jiu-jitsu and I personally because I don’t like getting punched in the face I stuck with jujitsu, which is no joke either. You know, choke choke doesn’t tickle, but one thing I always found about jiu-jitsu was you know the the class? You know whether you win or lose you shake hands. You bow, you show respect, and I think that’s that’s something. That’S that’s the one thing I think of that martial arts does for a lot of people, and a lot of kids is teaches them. Respect and discipline and – and you don’t get that in a lot of other sports, all right man yeah. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me and I wish you all the best and I look forward to you to your other fight and hopefully it’s in that’s in 2020 and not 2021, and I hope you get a fight that that entertains your style, Where you can really showcase what you’ve got, because I’m a huge fan, I like the way you fight so all the best and stay safe. Thank you. I appreciate it.

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

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