If you speak to Lindsey Jones, you would never know that he’s preparing for what is arguably the biggest fight of his MMA career.
He fights Robert Hale on Saturday in the main event of Valor Fights 48. Sources have confirmed that the bout is a title eliminator, and the winner will fight Jason King for the vacant Valor Fights welterweight title later in 2018.
Jones, a 3-0 prospect, has been cool as a cucumber in the build-up to the fight.
“I don’t think about the implications of the fight,” he told MMASucka. “It doesn’t matter if it’s the main event or the first fight of the night. If the title shot happens, it happens. Hale is my main priority.”
Jones said he found out about the bout’s implications a month ago, but hasn’t even thought about them. Hale is the focus.
“Robert’s a tough opponent and I have to get through him first,” he said. “Composure is a big thing. I think a lot of people aren’t in control and the moment engulfs them. You have to have a clear mind and be ready for whatever comes at you. The mental training is as important as the physical.”
Speaking of training, Jones has been working with some of the best at American Top Team. “Sweet Tea,” 23, has been with ATT for four years now, since his second amateur fight.
“I’m full-time ATT, born and bred,” he said.
He’s gotten to train with some of the best in the fight game. Jones has been a part of Thiago Alves’ past three camps and is a close friend and training partner of Santiago Ponzinibbio. He’s also gotten work in with Jorge Masvidal and Dustin Poirier, who are ranked #6 and #5 in the UFC welterweight and lightweight divisions respectively.
“I want to have the best career possible.”
Jones has began to think about joining them there, but he hasn’t put too much energy into thinking that far ahead. He said he’d have to feel like he’s ready before clamoring for a step up to a big organization.
“Sometimes fighters are so hungry to get to the UFC or the next level, and they’re not prepared for it,” Jones said. “They go 0-3 or 1-2 and get cut from the UFC because they’re not ready. I want to have the best career possible.”
For Jones, a successful 2018 will end with the Valor Fights welterweight belt wrapped around his waist. Of course, he knows he has to get through Hale first. And he’s confident he will.
Jones gave Hale’s boxing game credit, but doesn’t believe Hale has a well-rounded enough game to impose his heavy hands.
“You don’t see much wrestling or BJJ out of him,” he said. “There’s not a wide variety of attacks.”
Jones said he doesn’t know how he’ll get the win. It could be a knockout or a submission. But he said fans can expect a finish of some sort in the second or third round. Jones’ previous three professional wins have all come in the first round, so he definitely expects Hale to bring a tough fight. One thing’s for sure, though:
“Tune into FloCombat and expect violence,” Jones said.