Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo made his name in the mixed martial arts world fighting primarily for Mark Pavelich’s Maximum Fighting Championship, which runs the majority of its shows in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It is only fitting that the current MFC Light Heavyweight champion will make his debut in neighbouring Calgary at UFC 149. Jimmo’s excitement to be fighting in front of a home crowd in is UFC debut is understandably strong.
It’s very good to have that local support, fighting in Calgary. When you’re in that octagon or ring, it’s two people in there and you don’t hear that crowd sometimes. Most of the time it’s two lions in the cage and you have to see who is the stronger one. I don’t know if that is going to be something that plays a role, I’m going to have to wait and see. With the MFC, where I was main eventing, I’ve had quite a bit of media on me. I’m used to that kind of added pressure and stress, so it’s not going to be too much of a giant step since we are kind of lower on the card.
Jimmo’s UFC debut will come against Australian jiu-jitsu practitioner Anthony Perosh, who recently defeated Jimmo’s training partner Nick Penner at UFC’s last Australia card. Jimmo vows to “lay a beating on Perosh for Nick”, but at the same time recognizes his opponent’s considerable jiu-jitsu prowess.
I’m not afraid of him on the ground at all, but I agree that the fight is more inclined to be in my favor on the feet and maybe be in his on the ground. I’ve got good wrestling and I think his jiu-jitsu is superior, but I’m very good at scrambling and I’m hard to take down.
While UFC 149 will mark Jimmo’s official octagon debut, “The Big Deal” first came on the Zuffa radar when he made it to the opening round of fights for entry into “The Ultimate Fighter” house for season 8. Although Jimmo lost via decision to Antwain Britt, his performance, which came despite being injured, sent a message that he was for real.
They said it was a good fight and I was pretty injured. If it wasn’t for The Ultimate Fighter, if it was just a normal fight, I probably wouldn’t have stepped in there. I probably would have declined the fight at that time. Antwaine Britt was a better man that day and I didn’t have a good fight. They said good fight, I think it was one of the better fights of the day. They gave good encouragement, so I had to rack up a few wins and here I am in the UFC.
The talent of Jimmo has never been in doubt. but with many of his wins coming by decision, he runs the risk of acquiring a Jon Fitch-like reputation. He is cognizant of this, but at the same time maintains that when he steps into the UFC cage for the first time that he will be ready to let his fists fly.
First and foremost you want to win, but I know my performances in MFC they were always kind of conservative. I had to kind of do that, because if I lost in the MFC the UFC wouldn’t have wanted me. I had to be a little more conservative, just so that someone couldn’t throw a lucky punch and knock me out. Then after working for something for a couple of years, my dreams are shattered because some guy threw a lucky punch. Now we’re in the UFC and there is a huge knockout of the night bonus and fight of the night bonus. There is more to gain by being more risky, so you’re going to see a different fighter. Not to mention who I’ve been training with. Everyday I have to be on my toes, everyday I have to be more aggressive or else I’m going to get my teeth knocked out.
The preparation for his UFC debut has been intense. Jimmo has travelled to Florida to work with the noted “Blackzilian” camp run by Mike Van Arsdale. The training has done wonders for him, he says, but in being neither black nor Brazilian, he had to undergo a bit of an initiation ritual.
The deal is that if you aren’t black or Brazilian, you have to do something that is. I can breakdance, so it was like come on in you’re part of the fold. If you can’t do that well, then you’re in a bit of trouble.
Ryan Jimmo will bring his breakdancing skills to the octagon on July 21st.
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