Ep. #65 – Justin Jaynes

Justin Jaynes is a mixed martial artist who competes for the UFC in the Lightweight division. The Xtreme Couture standout returns to recap his impressive UFC debut which earned him his UFC victory and a performance of the night bonus.


Justin Jaynes: So last time we spoke was the Monday before your fight, you were you hadn’t heard from the UFC you hadn’t fought in over a year now you’re, officially a UFC fighter. How does it feel – and it’s just I wish words – could describe how I feel you know. It’S it’s always been my dream, since I was you know: 17, 18 years old in college, you know to compete on the big stage. You know to be a professional athlete, not just a journeyman, but to be somebody, that’s competitive. You know, and and right now like for MMA fighter being in the UFC, is like for a football player getting to the NFL, it’s the highest and the biggest organization in the whole world and to know that I’m competing with the best athletes in the world. Every fight from here on out I mean that’s just exciting man. I get to go out there and showcase my skills and what I’ve been working on over the last couple years in her last, you know: 12. 13. 14 years plus, you know the extra years of wrestling, and I mean I couldn’t be happier man, I’m living my own dream. So where were you when you got the call, were you at home? Were you at the gym? No, I was on my way to dinner me my girls from going get Thai food driving down the Vegas Strip kind of checking it out because everything’s still kind of dead or was that when they opened up my camera, we were going to check it because it Was dead or because it just did open up? I can’t remember but yeah we’re driving on the road and Jason called and when he calls you know, that’s usually good news man, so he called and he says hey, can you make weight Friday? I said bet that was about it: man, it didn’t really sink in it and actually didn’t even sink until after the fight. Honestly, I was so overwhelmed from that phone call till after my fight, I I can’t believe even looking back like what happened like, I was so dumbfounded, even the following Monday, I was like. Is this real life now and you know it’s? This is real life and I am in UFC, I am competitive. I do have the fastest knockout in debut history, the second fastest finished in debut history. This is real. This is my new reality so, like I said it took me a little bit of time. I went home spend time with friends and family people are close to me and you know you know just realize I’m living the dream, and now you know I’m looking to make a quick turnaround and you might see me in the cage sooner than you think I, Like to hear that, did you end up changing your order there at the the restaurant, or did you stick with the same thing? You were gon na order. No, we were on our way there. So I just like when I got someone Jason. She goes who’s that and I said that was Jason. She. What do you want? I said. Well, I guess I’m fighting Saturday and she was more excited me because again I I didn’t believe it. You know at first. You know this is this is my dream? It’S been my dream cells, you know we’re talking 12 years, you know 70 fights ago almost and it came true. We just turned around went back to the house, I started chucking water, stop drinking water that night and the rest is history. So when we, when we spoke, you said I would take any fight and the UFC whether it be 185, 170, 155. 145. It didn’t matter, I think 185 and 170 you’re, probably out of the question now. But but where is your home? Is it 145 or 155? Obviously, you can make the weight on four days notice. So is that your goal stay at 155 or do you think you’re gon na move down to a 45? I think I’m gon na bounce around uh. You know the negotiation we’re talking about moving down on the next couple weeks, but with that being said, you know it’s freaking tough, wait cut for me, man. I know I’m not very tall, I’m only five seven! Well, you know I got thick legs, you know. I you know, I got you know a thick core, 45 stuff man and you know when I get down there. I don’t know how I’m gon na feel and that’s what it comes down to, and I mean I, I have the power of a Walter way. You know so even at 55, as you see my foot, we’re talking about Frank Camacho who has seven fights, I hit him hit him twice, you know and and the second one dropped him like. I can knock guys out at 140. I am definitely big and powerful. 145, I’m I’m average size, maybe a little small for 155, but I can still knock people out. You know I have. I have. I have power, my hips power, my legs. You know I played a season of college football. I played football through, so you know all those power lifts that we doing all the heavy lifting used to. I think it’s transferred a lot into into striking. You know like when you turn your hips. When your sit, when I played baseball, you know, I was a home run, hitter in baseball, turning my hips over bringing that leg power and strength, and I think it’s transitioning into my to my left hook in my right hand too, to knock people out. So when you have is 45 or 55 my home for now, I’m just gon na bounce back and forth and honestly, even if they call, even if there’s like all [ __ ], there’s an injury at 170 I’ll jump in its. You know I’ll jump in 170. Like I just want to fight, I want to compete. I want to get my face out there and I want to test myself against the best fighters in the world, but whether it’s at 45 to 70. You know I want to be the guy they’re, calling that they know is gon na show up in shape, whether it’s 45, 55 or 70. Like I said, there’s another short notice. 270. You bet your ass, I’m calling Shawn say: hey I’ll jump. If you need it, it’s at 55, I’m jumping in. I don’t care. If it’s hot top ten guy, a [, __ ] journey me, I don’t. I don’t give a f — man, I just I just want to fight man. I wan na it’s. You know Robert Falls always said the money oh you’re Emma make or the money is made at the end of your career and, although I’m not at the end of my career, but this is in the later years of my career. You know I’ve been doing this for I’ve been doing MMA for 12 years and I want to make some money man, I’m not looking for six months layoff. I want paycheck after paycheck after paycheck knockout bonus fight of the Night bonus submission bonus. Like I’m fighting for bonuses. Now, man, it’s you know and everything else will fall in place. So you said you were fighting for bonuses yeah. I went back and I listened to our two-hour interview. The first like the week of your fight essentially – and you said I would take a $ 1,000 fight in the UFC over $ 100,000 fight any and any other organization, and you went out there dominated 40-something seconds and you ended up getting a performance bonus. How good did it feel to get that performance bonus? Did it again? I wish I could describe it like when they announced it at the end of the card, after curved blade and everybody fought, and they announced my name on ESPN for the performance bonus like I. I don’t I don’t know it didn’t it. Just didn’t seem real, like there must be another Justin James. You know what I mean, because I just kind of sat there on my alright, that’s pretty cool, like that’s [, __ ], incredible like that money has changed. My life for the first time in my whole life, I’m debt free. You know I’m looking to make some investments here in the next couple months, like you know, life-changing investments all over 40 seconds. You know a lot of people say: oh yeah, you get, you got you made 80 grand in 40 seconds. Well after I pay my coaches after I pay my managers. You know I’m walking away with a little bit less than ass. You know because the taxes as well but irregardless to that my life has been changed. You know I couldn’t be happier when they announced it. I just didn’t think was real and it is real, though you know and that’s my reality so IIIi don’t know. I can’t describe trying to describe you in words that how it felt, but I just can’t yeah I mean it – was crazy turnaround because I was I was like it was announced on. I think Thursday and I’m like I just spoke to him. I was like you know. We were just speaking like two days earlier. It’S like almost like, I predicted it, I’m gon na say I predicted it it. Actually. I think you made a special phone call to Dana and we got it done. That’S exactly what I did. I wish I had his number in my phone, but unfortunately I don’t was there ever I mean he missed wait and I think that that was huge. I mean when he missed wait. I was like, don’t don’t take it? I was like you know what you’re in the UFC already so was there ever a point where you were like you know? If I don’t take this fight, it doesn’t matter. I’M in the UFC. I can get a proper training camp in. I didn’t get ready and – and you know, get another fight or no hesitation I’ll. Take it no hesitation, I take it. I actually did so Frank and I have the same manager and when my manager text me and say, hey Frank’s, having a hard time making weight, the only thought in my head was stop. Cutting because what’s gon na happen is Frank. Is such a tough, mentally tough guy that he’s gon na cut weight to to a point where he might end up in the hospital and if he ends up in the hospital, if I kids cancel, you know, that’s the last thing I wanted. When I heard he was cut, I was a day tell him to chill, tell him just to relax. Where is that you know he’s a couple pounds over. It’S not a big deal to me. My biggest fear. The way my luck runs is I do all the right things. I make the weight and then for some crazy reason. He ends up in the hospital with an IV and our fight gets cancelled and that’s how my luck runs so as soon as Jason texts me that he’s hard time with weight, I was like bro like alright, hey. We need this 8 2 pounds. I don’t know talked about 2 pounds. He can miss away by 5 pounds. I’M gon na [, __, ], 2 or 5. Pounds doesn’t change the outcome of the fight. It doesn’t change the performance of the fight. I mean two pounds of [ __ ]. Nothing like I, I’ve missed weight before I’m just wait by five pound by two minutes. Wait like three times in my career, it [ __, ] sucks, and the last thing I wanted was Frank to Frank to end up in hospital on IV. In our fight getting cancelled, so I I was like I said he could have thought he could await. On 1/7 yeah I was fighting man, my friends and family. I was geeked for where I was we’re ready for. I was in shape and you know it all. It all unfolded the way I was supposed to so. When I get back to your question, when I saw him miss weight, I don’t give a [ __ ]. I even told him I put my arm like if you guys watch the video bus facing off. I put him around arm around and told him I’ll they hydrate up dude be healthy for tomorrow. Let’S have some fun, he said hell yeah, and that was it. He he’s probably the most experienced fighter. You’Ve ever fought in your career obviously didn’t have a whole lot of time to to game plan or come in with a strategy with such short notice. But was there? Was there a point where you’re like you know what? Maybe I should just go out there and start swinging and hopefully clip him, or was it like? Let’S try to find a way to like what was the game plan going in into that kind of like expecting that he’s a very experienced guy he’s been there he’s been in slugfests. What was the game plan? I wanted to catch guard alright. So me coming into UFC, you know, you know they talked about the UFC jitters or you know, like the adrenaline dump. I have 70 MMA fights, although they’re not in UFC, I’ve fought in big arenas. I fought in Bellator. I have fought a lot of tough guys. I fought a lot of guys that should be in UFC or are are in the UFC. So with that being said, is my. I try to put myself in Frank’s position. Alright, he’s looking up he’s a huge favorite in this fight. You know he’s going against. You know a guy on short notice who may have may or may not have been training, which I was, and you know I thought Frank – was gon na try and take it in the later rounds to test my gas tank. Well, unfortunately, for him that I am, I wasn’t shape if you remember Monday, we’re talking about training out stage. I was training hard, this whole time, maybe not it hard as if I was getting ready for a fight, but I still was training hard. My weight was low and you know my game plan was to I remember I want to show him hey look like, I might be the new kid on the block, but I’m not afraid of you and I’m not afraid of anybody when it comes that like I Want to jump in and I want to hit him are like come on with that double jab to my overhand right, although he blocked it, I know in his head. He said all right. I don’t wan na get hit by that punch, because this guy’s committing four shots and the whole game plan was just to come forward to pressure him. You know to show him that I’m my cardio is good. My power is good and any kind of fight he wants to have I’m ready for and – and you know, fortunately, I clipped him early and I was able to finish it quick. What was it like competing in an empty arena? I know we talked a little bit about what you thought it might be like now. You actually competed in one. So what what did it feel like to be in there and hearing commentators and hearing all that? Obviously, in 40 something seconds you didn’t, you probably didn’t get to get to experience all that. But but what was it like? I was so tunnel vision, man, it was it’s. It was so tunnel vision, I’m getting goosebumps talking about it. I’M trying to like think back in I mean I was so sown in on him for the first time I was my own coach. Almost if I should say I wasn’t listening in my corner, not that you know that day would changed anything by any means. I couldn’t hear the commentators I couldn’t hear my corner. I couldn’t hear his corner. All I remember is [ __ ] this guy up and hit him hard, and if I get knocked down the process, I can knock down the process. Man, it’s you know, I’m not here to lay in pretty and win boring fights, I’m here to for people to talk about my fights, whether it’s I win or lose. You know, even when just engage he’s lost a couple times. You know. Eddie Alvarez like that was an incredible fight. Everybody was buzzing about about how much hard he is and how [ __ ] tough. He is and that’s the way I want to be remembered, just walking forward, no matter how much damage is done in swinging shots and try and knock people out, I’m gon na fight hard until my guests tank is on empty and even when it’s on empty, I’m Still not done you know, I got a reserve tank, but with that being said, you know these guys better understand, I’m not intimidated. I have nothing to lose whether I’m a favorite, whether I’m the dog yeah. I have nothing to lose in these fights. I’Ve accomplished all my goals up to this point and now, although I’m adjusting my goals going forward, of course, but guess what pressures on my opponent, because I’m not gon na break to that stuff. Speaking of going forward and being tough and and whatnot someone you’ve worked with spent quite a bit of time, working with Danny Gay fought fought last night. What’S your thoughts on his performance? Obviously it was a losing effort, but I mean I thought he shocked me. I thought he was good honestly. I thought he was gon na get knocked out. I thought Calvin caters very, very aggressive, very, very dangerous and Danny gay surprised me and he held his own didn’t get knocked down won a couple rounds. In my opinion, he looked really good. In my opinion, Dan is dan is one of the toughest guys in the gym, one of the hardest-working guys in the gym, one of the best teammates in the gym, and I couldn’t tell you how proud I was. Even you know going into later round, you know going into the fifth round. He knows he’s, you know it’s. I had. I had him going into the fifth round. Three, two one and you know he’s still slinging punches. You know it looks like he might have. He might have cracked his orbital or came to talk orbital, but you know he’s still coming forward swinging punches, you know, even at the end of the round, he takes that flying knee drops down to a knee knee still scrambling you know like Dan is, is a Guy he’s a younger guy. I know he’s a lot younger than me, but I look up to a man like this is a guy that came out here with with a goal and now he’s headlining UFC, seven, six and two in the UFC yeah he’s a top-ten fighter. I couldn’t be more proud, I thought he thought he did everything really good, and you know he did the best he could man, he laid it all out. There cater is a tough dude man. I watched a couple of slice leading up and man that guy’s the real deal III could see him being the champ in the next next to one or two or maybe a [ __ ]. I mean he takes one more fight he’s in title contention. He might you might be the next champ speaking of people who perform there at fight Island Nick sick. I think he’s very underrated. Coach looked really good steps in corners, Jared, Gordon and Jared Gordon gets a win. I mean what’s your thoughts on him as a coach I mean he looked, I’ve talked to him before and super humble super super nice guy, and I mean incredible stepping in and cornering Gordon to a win as well. I mean Eric has been my boss, for I don’t know. Maybe six years now you know he’s the manager of Xtreme Couture, but you know prior to that or yeah he’s my boss he’s still my friend man and he’s somebody that I look up to for advice. There’S a lot of time you know he’s not specifically my coach, you know I’ve. I’Ve had the same coaches for the last several years, but as for Eric’s, you know experience in the UFC man he’s there almost every weekend at least once a month. You know cornering somebody, and I tell you what what Eric, what Eric is the best at is making you feel about yourself, like this guy will tell you, when you’re doing things right and tell you when you’re doing things wrong and when you’re doing things right, he’s Gon na make sure you know you’re doing right, you know he’s cornered me in a couple fights, and you know I couldn’t be happier he’s a great guy he’s a great boss, he’s a great friend and he’s a great coach, and you know I and anybody that Has him in his corner? Is it should be honored to have him because he’s been around the game he’s been in the gym? You know grinding, you know under Robert Falls with Dennis Davis, you know doing his own thing as well. You know with his own fighters: Eric’s is an upstanding citizen to say the least, and I’m very happy and proud to work for him and be friends with him. You know, and – and it comes down to that – you know, although, like I said, although he is my boss, he’s still my friend and he’s somebody that I looked her for advice on the regular speaking of fight Island. Is that something that you’re interested in I mean, obviously you competed right there in your hometown. They, I guess, didn’t, have to go far for. Are you willing to travel across the world for your next fight, or would you like to have it? Have it there at home where it’s convenient? As I always said throughout my career I’ve. Never I don’t think I’m ever gon na become a millionaire off fighting. I just want to travel the world and – and you know, fight people, that’s it so when it comes to fight Island hell, yes I’ll travel to Mars to fight somebody Dana, why needs to buy a little little lot on Mars? We need to fly some fighters out there because I’m in the game, not only because I love it, but I love to travel man, and you know last year you know so far out of my 20 fights as a pro I find India. I found Mumbai, India. I fought in Scotland, I fought in Hawaii, you know like I went a you know. I want to travel the world and fight. So if I got an opportunity to fight on fight Island this weekend, your boys jumping on it so yeah there’s a fight. There’S a fight on Saturday, if you, if something comes up, call me I’m ready and I’m ready to go actually yeah. Unfortunately, my suspensions lifted August 2nd. So it does look like my next fight will be in Vegas, but that’s no hero there is there a? Is there an opponent you have in mind? I don’t know if there’s anything that I can’t know or anything like that, but if there’s a there’s an opponent or a couple, opponents that you’re thinking of on top of your head, that you’d be interested in fighting war working and out. Right now, with someone specific and I I don’t want to go public with it and it’s for sure I don’t want to start saying names and then it fall through and but right now in the next day or two, I’m gon na go public with a specific Person, I love it. Man thanks for thanks for jumping back on here man. I really appreciate it. What can we expect in your next fight, regardless of who it is or where it is? What can we expect something similar to the first, obviously, on five fight? First round finished streak, or are you trying to trying to get out there and maybe test yourself and go to Lotus uh? You know the later round. It’S it’s! You know. I’Ve already been in later rounds. I’Ve been in five round fights. I’Ve went the distance in five round fights before the test. For myself is how fast can I finish: a [ __ ] like people, because people have said this before you know like what you’re saying is like. Oh, you want to test yourself, I’m gon na rounds. I’Ve already been there and done that in order for me to go to later rounds, my opponent has to earn that spot. I’M not I’m not just gon na coast in the second round to see if I’ll last. My objective is to knock that [ __ ] out or sub him as fast as I can, the faster I sub somebody or not come out the faster I get to go to the barn, doing some cold beer and that’s very important to me. Well, you’re: what’s your beer of choice, the cold kind? If it’s cold, I like it all right man, that’s my favorite kind as well. Thank you. I appreciate you taking the time and all the best with whatever’s. Next, hey thanks man. I really appreciate you an any time you want if you’re in time you want to, you know, talk it up. Just holler, I mean I’m ready to go. Of course, man. I uh. I mean it’s awesome that I spoke to you on a Monday. You were fighting on a Saturday, I I love that I feel, like I’m part of your journey. You saw me Monday all depressed like a little [, __ ] and not, I feel like a million dollars and I don’t think anything can bring you down all right. Man all the best, thank you so much for the time and keep fishing ma’am, Sierra, so you’re, bringing in some some big fish they’re on Instagram super excited man, I’m a big time spear fisherman and real fisherman. When I say real, I mean REE, L yeah. We just slayed some bass and some walleye out in Michigan and Lake st. Clair man. It’S I fight, so I can hunt and fish hunting and fishing are my passions. Fighting is my job and my passion as well, but it’s third place. We taught behind honey. I’Ll have to I’ll have to get out there and and maybe shoot a deer or something. I really want to try this deer heart thing that you guys do at from man. [ __ ] dude, hey where you at right now, you’re in the Midwest, I’m in I’m in Halifax Nova, Scotia in Canada, Halifax, oh [, __ ]. You know what you’re not gon na root from your next fight, because I believe my next opponents from Halifax as well isn’t that by isn’t that where Trailer Park Boys is shot, you know yep, yes, in Providence, yeah they’re just up the street, I taught one of Them huh one of their kids, how to swim. No [ __ ], I’m a huge Trailer Park. Boys fan, I watched other Park Boys every night. Before I go to sleep. I turn it on and I’ve been doing that last couple years. I just think it’s crazy and it’s goofy and dumb as it is. I think it’s hilarious, all right man all the best. Thank you so much for the time and man. I can’t wait to watch a next. One sounds good rats. Actually,

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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