Combat Vision MMA conducted a Q&A style interview with John James Young. John James is ranked (Tapology) number 2 in the UK/Ireland amateur flyweights. John James is currently on a five-fight winning streak and is the current UK Fighting Championship flyweight champion. John James has successfully defended the belt twice in 2017, winning the fights inside the first round by way of submission.
Thank you for talking to Combat Vision MMA, John James. Could you tell our readers about the type of fighter you are.
“I am good all round really. I always look to improve every aspect of my MMA game, from striking, wrestling, jiu-jitsu and fitness”
You fight out of Blackburn Predators MMA. Could you tell our readers about the coaches and the fighters you train with on a daily basis.
“I train with the best guys in my opinion. We have got some good guys down here from flyweight to welterweight. Our head MMA coach Rob Freedman is always bringing out the best in me, along with my wrestling coach Baz. I train every day with these guys, I’m always improving”
How important has training with Blackburn Predators MMA been to your developing amateur career.
“I have been here since day one, from my coaches to teammates they are always helping me improve”
How you deal with fight week, John James. From getting into the zone to dealing with the weight cut, refueling and rehydrating before fight night.
“Yeah so fight week is always the hardest part. It’s never easy training and cutting weight. The final week before I fight, training is always technical. I go over some techniques, I have been working on for the fight, always making sure I stay loose and keep myself focused. After I have made weight, it’s all about getting the right fluids in, I’ll have a bottle of water which has some electrolytes and bcaas in them”
You won the UKFC flyweight belt back in October 2016 against Abdul Chowdrey. This has been your first and only five round fight. How happy were you with the performance on the night and did you learn anything about yourself as a fighter heading into those later rounds.
“Going into the later rounds, I felt good. My fitness was on point, I felt I could have gone another 5 rounds. I have definitely learned a lot about myself from that fight, I know I can go the distance, I know that when my game plan messes up, I can adapt and overcome. To still get the win, so yeah it was all a good experience”
You defended your UK FC flyweight title twice inside three months. Could you tell us about the preparation and the strategy heading into these two fights.
“I first fought Warren Mason, a really good prospect in the flyweight division. I saw a few fights of him and I noticed he liked his standup, the plan with him was to circle away from his kicks and every time he threw one I was to counter with either a straight right hand or takedown. I managed to get him down and armbar him”
“My other title defense was against Jordan Baxter, another good prospect in the flyweight division, who was at the time ranked 2nd in the UK and Ireland. Going into that fight, the game plan was lots of head movement and making him pay, every time he missed a shot. We ended up in a grappling exchange and it went to the floor, where I was able to win yet again by armbar in the first round”
You have been vocal on Facebook asking to fight Liam Gittins. How possible do you think this fight is and do you see anything in his fighting style that you will be looking to exploit.
“Liam Gittins is the number 1 ranked fighter in the UK and Ireland. I’m hoping him and his team takes the fight with me on 7th October. I like the guy’s style, he is a good dangerous fighter in my opinion and this is what I want. I want to fight the best and test myself against them, I think me vs Gittins would be the best flyweight matchup of the year easily. Two of the best flyweights in the country going at it, no one would miss it”
You suffered your first amateur loss to Callum Mullen two years ago. Since then, you have gone on a five-fight win streak. Looking back, how did you deal with this loss and have you made any adjustments to your fighting style.
“I fought Callum Mullen outside the weight class I normally fight at. We fought at bantamweight on Budo FC, the fight was going well for me at first, I was winning the stand-up exchanges, but I then got taken down”
“The second round I caught him in a triangle but didn’t finish it. I held him in it for like 40 seconds if I can remember and then after that, I was just gone. My body gassed out and I lost on a decision. As for dealing with it, I just got my ass in the gym and trained harder than before. Since then, thank god, I have won all my fights”
What do you think separates John James as a fighter compared to the rest of the flyweight division.
“I think with me, I know these guys aren’t training as hard as me. I put in the work every day, I train full time, this is all I have. All that combined just makes me in my opinion, unstoppable”
What does 2017 have in store for John James Young.
“I’m hoping to end this year with another win. Hopefully, I can give the fans what they want to see and that’s Young vs Gittins, 7th October. October will be my last fight of the year, perhaps some grappling comps, but that’s it till 2018”
Watch John James Young submit Warren Mason at UK Fighting Championships 3