Jhonoven Pati is a mixed martial artist who competes in the Middleweight division and will be featured this summer on Dana White’s Tuesday night Conteder Series. He has picked up six victories as a professional, all by way of stoppage.
Jhonoven Pati: So uh, how has quarantine been overall, i mean the world is going crazy man with this pandemic and everything going on in the us cities burning to the ground. How have how have you and your family held up throughout the uh throughout the pandemic? Um? Well, i’m out here in texas, so uh not much has changed here in texas. Uh life has still been going for us. My wife still works. She works at a vet clinic and i was working at a podiatry office. So i was in the medical field as well. Nothing really changed for us other than my daughter having to stay home for the end of uh, the second semester of school year and then going into the summer and extended out to the beginning of their new school year. So not much has changed for us. How does someone in the medical profession end up fighting like it just seems, like you know, it’s two things that don’t really make much sense together. Well shoot. I didn’t start in the podiatry office until uh this past year, um i’ve i’ve been a guy. That’S worked! A lot of different jobs, so um as far as me, being in the fight game and being in the medical field recently uh, i just did anything to pay the bills, really anything that would help, and that would deal with my crazy schedule. So man, it’s out uh big news, you’re competing on the contender series, describe the emotion man, i’m sure uh, there’s a lot to process at first, oh yeah. Without a doubt, man uh getting that phone call up, knowing that somebody’s seen you on the other level, uh on the highest level of a mixed martial arts um. It was definitely overwhelming uh to know that somebody’s finally seen what we’ve been working on here at our gym here in coppers cove and uh they’ve they’ve seen the work that my coaches put into me and then my teammates put into me and uh. It was just super overwhelming to finally get recognized. Who was the uh. Who was the first person? You shared the news with my wife’s daughter and my mother-in-law. We were actually at dinner and i got that phone call, so they were the very first ones. I walked out into my garage, took the call came back in teary-eyed and just lost it with my wife, my daughter, my mother-in-law. I know this is going to sound a bit crazy, but i’ve talked to people who said like you know what sometimes you know i wish i had waited a little bit longer. Maybe i’m too s it’s too early to uh to accept a fight at the big at the highest of levels. Did that across your mind or was it i don’t even care? Yes check? Oh no, i don’t. I don’t think uh it’s the wrong time at all, because i almost made the hot before um, where i i took too big of a fight at a. I took too big of of a fight to start on my pro career right number, one guy ryan spann. As as my pro debut um, that probably wasn’t the brightest idea, even though i was 7-0 undefeated as an amateur, i still needed to get that experience as a pro first, so there’s been a couple of uh early jumps in my career, where i feel like. I got the early jumps, i got them done uh earlier in my career um. I don’t think that it’s, it’s not the right timing. Now uh. I really truly believe in god’s timing and uh. This was all gone. This is this was god’s timing in my eyes, and i i feel like there, there couldn’t be a better opportunity than now, because i’m ready now uh i’ve. I’Ve had some tough fights man i feel like my last three fights could have been ufc fights. They could all been debut fights in the ufc and uh. I mean look at the last three guys that i fought there. One was a ufc bet. One went to the ufc contender series and the other one is going to the contender series on the second episode. This season, so i’m fighting i’m fighting dogs out here. You know what i mean: yeah yeah, so i mean you started off your career with a four and three record which you know like you said, though i mean ryan, spann, um, kylan, hill, um and poona like three three killers or you’re. The three losses on your record, but was there a point where you’re like man, four and three? I don’t know if this is for me like or was or did you always have a little bit of like faith? You know i’m gon na make it. You know. Four and three may not look great right now, but i’m gon na string together some wins and i’ll make it yeah uh, i’m not gon na lie uh. I i did have times where i was. I was in the dark and uh. I just thank god that i had great coaches uh a great, a great support group that lifted me up when i took those l’s um that still believed in me and uh. Even when i didn’t believe in myself uh, i had a lot of people in my corner that lifted me up. Whenever i felt like you know, i just needed to stop and provide for my family in a different way. So i i did have those thoughts um to walk away um, but i got up and dusted myself off with the help of those people, and i just went back to work. I worked harder. Do you think, seeing like, like you, said, ryan spann, as well as puna soriano? Do you think that both of their uh successes is like almost a way to be like okay, you know what i lost to them, but they’re winning big fights, one of them’s, one of the highest ranked light heavyweights or the other one just picked up a huge Middleweight win: was it a little bit of like a confidence boost, seeing their success? Oh yeah, without a doubt if, if you’re, taking fights against guys, that are that are losing that aren’t doing much, you know are that are on the regional circuit and they’re. Not doing anything on the regional circuit, maybe then it might be time to reevaluate. You know what i’m saying, i’m not saying quit, but reevaluate some things and change some things that are that are possibly broken and not working but uh. I wish nothing but success on the guys that uh that i took elves to and look at them like you said you said it yourself. These guys are they’re doing well, they’re doing very, very well in the game at the top of the top. So i mean it says a lot. You know what i mean: yeah um, so the contender series. I want to talk a little bit about your fight. That’S coming up uh, it’s a little under a month away um, but man um consider series is so much different than the lfa or even, if you make in the ufc, where you’re not guaranteed that contract. You know you can go out there and pick up a w and it’s not guaranteed um. How does that change uh your mentality for this fight, knowing that a big finish or an exciting fight could really be the difference between making it or not making it? Well, if you look at my fights, i got a 100 finish rate, so whenever i, whenever i’m in a fight, if, if i’m going to win it, which usually i do it’s going to be in devastating fashion, you know what i’m saying i like to finish: guys: Uh, i i can finish on the ground or i can finish standing up and usually when we’re on the ground, i’m not a i’m, not a guy. That goes for a submission, even if it’s there i’m going to try to pound you out. So i don’t feel like i have to do anything um extra to get a contract. I think uh. If i just go out there and be myself that dana white will definitely give me a contract. So i’m not a guy that feels like i. I need to do extra to get the contract, sometimes a lot of guys go in there with that aspect on they have to be different and uh. If you feel like you have to be different, then maybe it just wasn’t for you, you know what i’m saying like the fact that you have to do something different, because that means you have to do something different, every single fight. I feel like what i bring to the table is already enough and uh. If it’s not, then i just got to try again, then what it will fix. What what’s not broken, you know what i’m saying i i i can’t fix. What’S not broken is what i mean so uh. What we’ve been doing has been working and it’s it’s been great. People love what they see. So we’re just going to keep doing that. You know what i mean stick to what we know um and let everybody else adjust to us so finding a guy jamie, uh, jamie, pickett, uh, your opponent, he’s probably, i think the second most experienced guy you’ve fought, which is a pro and a con, and your Pro is there’s tape on him everywhere. You know he’s, so you can watch all his mistakes. You can pick up on his tendencies. Bad news is he’s also, you know seen it all. So how does that alter the way you fight or your preparation going into this fight? I don’t necessarily think it’s altered anything because you know when we watch jamie. I i don’t think he’s second to be honest, uh. I honestly think there’s some guys on my list that could beat jamie that i beat uh pretty pretty badly uh that i think that could probably hurt jamie uh, there’s just something about jamie’s game that i don’t see that mixes well, because they say styles make matchups Right, i don’t think my style matches jamie style very well in his in his aspect where it favors him um. So i i don’t know man like i respect jamie. Don’T don’t get me wrong, like i respect him, i’m training my butt off for him um, but i just don’t. I don’t see anything in jamie’s game where it’s it’s super crazy, where we had to do something crazy in the camp to make sure that we’re extra prepared. You know what i mean like there’s nothing that jamie’s throwing at us that we’re not ready for that. I haven’t seen before you know what i mean yeah and uh man. This it’s been really weird, i know uh, you know not not so much the contender series but guys in the ufc have been saying man fighting in an empty arena is so weird hearing corners. You’Re hearing commentators you’re hearing all this stuff. How uh? How do you think that’s going to affect your performance? Have you been someone who’s like fed off the crowd in the past, and do you think not having that crowd? There may benefit you or may, like you know, hurt you a little bit. I think it’ll benefit me uh. The crowd doesn’t really play much of a um of a role in it other than making it better. It doesn’t make it worse for me if that makes sense like if the crowd’s there, it can only help me if the crowd’s not there, it doesn’t hurt me um, because you know it’s always fun to it’s always fun to it’s a spectator sport. That’S that’s what this is. Let’S be real. The family. We put the fans in the stands. You know what i mean so um, not having the fans there. It’S cool uh it’d be cool to have them there, especially for the contender series. It sucks to not be able to have my family there, because uh i feel like this is that the contender is especially for the families. You know what i mean for them to experience that for the first time with you and it just sucks not to have them there, but i know they’ll be watching. So you know technology is great um. I don’t think it’ll hurt me. I think it’ll be a bad thing for jamie because i’m a gym rat, i stay in the gym, so me being able to hear everything that my coaches say, even though, if there’s a crowd there or not, i have it here for my coaches um, that means I’M gon na be able to hear jamie’s. Coaches too, like that’s, that’s not good. You know i mean i i’m a gym rat, so i i think it’s gon na be a bad day for jamie man and uh man mike perry had his girlfriend in his corner. Is that something you considered as well? Just like oh man, no man me and my wife actually watched that and uh we were laughing because she was like. I would never. I was like. I would never put you in that position. You know what i mean like mike perry’s like he’s he’s different man. I i don’t know how he did it, i’m glad he got his win. What not but yeah nah nah. I got coaches for that. Speaking of mike perry, um and guys, like colby covington. All these guys, people like and dylan dan, is another great example. People i find the negative attention really gets fans behind them and uh. I guess: how do you kind of stay, grounded and being like you know what, even though it brings attention just being a bad guy? If how do you kind of just stay humble and be yourself, even though negative attention is really bringing fans uh to like be behind people and supporting people, i think what keeps me grounded and just just me being myself, because sometimes even you being the good guy People can say what you do good and turn it around on you. You know what i’m saying, no matter, what you do. Good or bad people are going to talk mess. That’S the crazy thing. So uh i don’t too much. Let the outside chatter get into me, especially because my inside circle is very, very tight, so everything that i have in-house, i know the people that matter to me. I’M not saying that people don’t matter, but i’m saying the people that matter to me uh. They keep me built up and they keep me um. They keep me honest, they’re super transparent with me. I don’t have yes men in my corner. I don’t have my coaches and and my teammates that are always telling me: hey, you’re, a beast: hey you’re, the you’re, the best you’re this and that they’ll tell me if i’m wrong they’ll, tell me if i’m missing, missing training. They’Ll call me if i’m i’m not there on time. You know what i’m saying. I have people that hold me accountable, so uh whenever you have those kinds of people in your corner, you tend to tune out the outside stuff and it doesn’t get to you as much. So i think that’s what helps keep me grounded. I want to talk a little bit about your last fight. I mean you picked up the ring of combat middleweight championship. How did it feel picking up that belt and how does it compare to getting the call uh to compete on the contender series? Is there one? That’S a little bit more than the other or completely different categories. We don’t even talk, we don’t we can’t compare them. I think uh getting the contender series is probably it means more to me because that’s ultimately my bigger goal, um was not only to reach it. To the ufc, but to be top 10 to be the champion one day i see myself literally holding the the ufc 185 bill. I don’t care who has it at the time whether it be paul acosta or whether it be israel i’d much rather fight israel, because uh he’s not a cheater. You know: paula paul has been popped a couple of times on the roads and stuff, so i’d much rather fight israel, but um. I just think i i i’m not being disrespectful towards regional belts or any other belt other than the ufc, but i don’t look at them as much as the higher stature as i look as the ufc belt, because the ufc belt is the top notch. It’S it’s. The best of the best, and if i want a belt, i want that belt. So i definitely appreciate uh ring of combat and dead, serious mma, letting me go out and fight and letting me use that platform to climb up to the ufc, because i needed that. I need apparently, i needed to go, find a guy that was um that was out there, that a lot of people knew that uh. The ufc was looking at and i needed to get that win so whatever whatever means necessary to get there. So i do appreciate it don’t get me wrong, but that belt isn’t everything to me that that i appreciate it and and i’m grateful for it but uh. That’S that’s not my goal so um. I think this is by far way more important uh getting in the call from the ufc to the contender series. So there’s been a lot of hype around fide island and is that something that you wish you had a chance? For i mean it looked unbelievable from here i was like i was looking at. I was like man the things i would do to just stand in that ring on the beach like i don’t care uh. Do you part this part of you wish, like, maybe like that you would have gotten an opportunity to compete there, whether it be a contender series type thing, do you wish it was you had the opportunity to travel there or are you okay, with vegas, i’m? Okay with vegas, i’m not gon na lie to you. The only thing that bothered me about fight island is that these guys were fighting in the early a.m like these, like, supposedly, they were fighting at like three and four o’clock in the morning. Like bro, my body does not function at that time. There was actually two ufc fighters that turned down contracts that were supposed to fight on fight, island and uh. I read up on it and uh. One of them said the reason. Why was because his body does not function at that time like he was completely transparent about it, and i was like yo. That would be me i would have had to like. Obviously as a fighter. Oh yes, i want to go, but then i would have to sit down and face the realism of it and be like hey. My body does not function at that time. You know what i’m saying. So i don’t know man. It seems exciting. Like off. You know off the rip, but i don’t think i would have. I would have been too excited to fight at that time at night. So i’m satisfied with just staying in the u.s for now um and then you know getting my feet wet and then we go into that those waters. You know what i mean yeah, absolutely so the the little platform i started this podcast about three months ago. I just got a boredom: there was no mma, so i was like all right. I’M gon na start, this see who comes on and it kind of like built around that. But prior to that um the platform i i kind of had was based on matchmaking um. As well as doing uh fight predictions, so is there a fighter in the ufc uh? That’S currently fighting in the in your division that you think, like that’s someone i see myself fighting someday. You mentioned that asanya, you mentioned costa, but is there someone that you’d be like okay, i’m ready to fight that guy on my debut on my debut um, i don’t want to jump too ahead of myself and my coaches cut my head off and my man cut. My head off so um i’ll, just i don’t! I don’t have a name right now, uh. I have names in the book of course, but uh i’m not gon na release those until until we take these first steps, you know what i mean but uh. As far as moving forward to answer your question a little bit any guy that comes out of the contender series this year, uh coming, you know as a 85 – i’m not the only 85 for coming out of the contender series. So i’m definitely looking forward and i see myself getting that contract so any of those guys that went off of the contender series this season with me, i’m willing to take on any of them, and we mentioned costa we mentioned adesanya. How do you think that’s going to play out? I definitely think izzy’s going to get the win um. I think izzy will snipe. Him is he’s a he’s very uh, a collected, striker uh. He doesn’t take shots that are unnecessary. Um you saw in the uol fight, it may have seemed boring to a lot of people, but he won. He did what what a champion needed to do. He won a lot of people may not like that style, but he knew what he was doing and uh. I think he’s he’s very he’s a very well calculated champion and uh he’ll snipe. I think he’ll snipe, paula, paula’s been rocked before so i think he’ll he’ll he’ll drop all the man and another big one. This will be my last question for you biggest uh heavyweight fight in ufc history for a lot of people, stipe dc3 uh your thoughts on on how you think that one’s gon na go. Oh man. This is so hard because recently, i’ve just grown to start liking dc um, because whenever dc was going through his thing with jon jones, i you know i’ve always been a jon jones fan. I never disliked dc as a person but uh just as a fighter. I’Ve always followed johnny bones like i feel, like he’s, definitely in the goat racing, if not already the goat um, so it’s hard, but i’ve recently grown to like dc, even his fighting style and everything. Ah man, it’s so hard to pick, i think i’ll go. I think i’ll go with stipe man. I think i’ll go with stephen. I think either way they’re both going to walk away after this i’m just hoping for a good fight. I won’t be mad if dc wins, but i think i’m just going to go with with a stipe because stipe’s backstory, you know what i’m saying. Stipe comes from, not a huge gym, uh, not a lot of huge names at his gym um. He didn’t have a lot in this corner, so he had less to work with. So i want to go with him kind of just because you know he didn’t have all the all. The great things that dc has you know said dc had came velasquez all his all his years. I think kane might still even be training, so he still has kane and uh just to see a guy that hasn’t had a lot kind of like that’s. Why? I appreciate conor mcgregor because he came up from nothing. You know i mean to see guys like that rise up. I always pick that guy. You know what i mean and uh non-mma question to kind of end it. What sorts of things do you do in your free time, like a lot of time in the pandemic? Do you play video games? Do you watch tv? What sorts of things you uh do you watch without a doubt? I actually uh play xbox xbox one on my xbox guy um. I i play fortnite now, i’m back on fortnite with my daughter, because my daughter i just got her gamer account our gamer tag. So she’s she’s all about the fortnight, so i always play with her. She picks me up, but usually i’m online with a whole bunch of other fighters. Man i actually play with my brother and my coaches. All of us have a gamertag, that’s kind of our our way of uh. You know putting away the fighting, putting away everything else and uh just just having some boy time on the game and uh. That’S pretty much it if i’m not playing the game. I’M spending time with my family we go out, we try to do things outside, we go hiking, we go swimming with it being summer out here in texas has been averaging, like a hundred, so we’ve been trying to get in water and stuff like that. So that’s! That’S things i like to do you know what i mean all right, man, i’m looking forward to your fight. Best of luck, brothers, keep washing your hands man, i don’t want to catch anything. Everybody everybody’s been popping now with kovitz, so just uh just stay safe and uh man, i’m looking forward to your fight. Thank you so much brother. I appreciate your time. Man all right man, all the best all right have a good one.