Shawn Jordan has heard it before, and he knows it to be true. He has to get something going. He has to get some consistency. Without it, he’s just going through the motions.
On Saturday, the UFC heavyweight will look to get that consistency started – and he’ll have to do it against a friend.
Jordan (14-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) meets fellow Louisianan Pat Barry (8-5 MMA, 5-5 UFC) on the main card of UFC 161, which takes place at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The main card airs on pay-per-view following FX and Facebook prelims.
“Consistency is one of the things that separates contenders from the rest of the guys,” Jordan told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “When you fight in the UFC, everyone’s got a lot of potential. But if you can’t put it all together and be consistent with it, it does you no good. You take one step forward and two steps back. I’ve had wins streaks before, but it’s been a while since then and I need to get back to it.”
Jordan, a former fullback at Louisiana State University and a member of the Tigers’ 2007 national title team, stopped Mike Russow in front of Russow’s home Chicago crowd with a second-round TKO in January. That got him back on track after a short-notice fight against Cheick Kongo at UFC 149 that was derided as one of the year’s worst fights.
That short-notice opportunity, Jordan said, is one of the hallmarks of fights he’s lost – not having enough preparation. And therefore, when he comes off a loss, he’s always been able to bounce back because he gets a full and normal training camp.
Much of training these days for Jordan takes place at American Top Team, though he’ll still use the coaches from the Jackson/Winkeljohn gym on Saturday in Winnipeg.
But short notice isn’t the only thing that has gotten in the way for him in the past.
“The times I’ve lost, half the time are short-notice fights and maybe I’m not totally prepared, which is my fault as a professional,” he said. “So I usually have time to prepare for fights more after a loss. But especially with this sport, the more you train, the more you game plan on one specific thing, it makes you almost freeze up when it doesn’t go that way. I don’t think there’s over-prepartation, but you get mentally exhausted and it makes it a little more anxiety going into fights.
“The Cheick Kongo fight, I only had a few weeks to prepare. But in the fight, I froze up because it wasn’t working out the way I wanted it to. So I froze up and just stood there.”
That’s not something he’ll be wanting to do against Barry, an elite-level kickboxer who won two of his three fights in 2012, along with a pair of bonuses in those fights.
“Pedro kicks heavy and everything in training was just trying to bring me down,” Jordan said. “He’s a great training partner and kicks like a mule. But I’ll go wherever it needs to go. I’m comfortable with standing up or going to the ground.”
But to put together his first win streak in more than a year – and to stop Barry from claiming his first streak since he started his career 4-0 – he’ll have to do it against a friend.
And believe it or not, that might play to Jordan’s advantage.
“Pat and I are friends,” he said. “We trained a little bit when I first got into this. We talk all the time. So I’m excited about this. Fights are always nerve-wracking, but it’s nice to fight guys you’re friends with because you know it’s going to be a good competition.”
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