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Young: I want to be a complete fighter

VICTORY: Young

ALTHOUGH BRITISH mixed martial artists have garnered reputations as fearsome strikers, many have shown weakness when it comes to the grappling and wrestling aspect of MMA.

Jason ‘Shotgun’ Young, however, is not one of them though as the featherweight proved at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC): Sweden on April 14 against Eric Wisely.

Young comes from a striking background but scored four takedowns to Wisely’s none and dominated proceedings on the ground throughout on his way to a unanimous points win.

The 25-year-old, who has an MMA record of nine wins (three KOs) and five losses to his name, credited his training at the America Top Team gym in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for his grappling improvement.

He told the Voice of Sport: “The training in America has helped a lot.

“I looked a lot more like a complete fighter and not just a striker.

“Most of them [the fighters at America Top Team] are state wrestling champions, national wrestling champions, all-American champions and black belts in jiu-jitsu.

“Here, we haven’t got national wrestling champions and not everyone in the gym is a black belt in jiu-jitsu.”

He continued: “The level difference in sparring is a lot harder which gets you prepared for anyone that’s going to stand in front of you because you know that you’ve rolled with black belts and wrestled with national champions.”
For the first time, Sweden hosted a UFC show and Young was first up.


DOMINATING PROCEEDINGS: The 25-year-old catches Wisely with a right

“It was one of the best crowds I’ve fought in front of, apart from my home one in Birmingham (in November).”
“We were the first fight and the crowd were so hyped and buzzing. It was a really good reception.”

Going into the fight Young had previously lost two competitive contests in the UFC, which is MMA’s premier organisation, and was wary that another defeat would see him cut from their roster.

But having comfortably won the contest, Young can now look forward to sterner tests.

“Right now all I care about is the person they put in front of me and staying in the UFC because I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else apart from fighting in the UFC,” stated Young, who previously worked as a plasterer.

“I don’t want to go back to work. I want to be the best I can. I’ve still got a lot of time in the sport and I’m still not of that age to peak yet.”

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