The Future Is Bright
This is arguably the greatest time of the year for sports. Baseball is back on, NFL camps are scheduled to open shortly (normally), the NBA and NHL are down to their two best. MMA is now in a position to be contributing to the drama as well. UFC 131 is in Vancouver this Saturday and The Score Fighting Series is broadcasting a well conceived card.
Lethbridge, Alberta's Jordan Mein will be fighting on The Score Fighting Series this Friday at 7:30 (EST). The event is being held at The Hershey Center in Mississauga, Ontario. The 21 year old, with a 21-7 record, has been dubbed the "Future of Canadian MMA" by many pundits. His test on Friday will demonstrate how worthy he is of that title.
Naturally, the face of Canadian MMA today is Georges St- Pierre. Jordan may never achieve all that the future UFC Hall of Famer has, but he has proven that his journey to reach that goal just may well be worth watching.
Jordan not only oozes talent, he is equally as charismatic. Sincere humility, infectious enthusiasm, and an affable disposition aligned with striking, wrestling, and submission skills make this a potential blue chip stock to be excited about. He is the first generation of MMA fighters. People schooled in the sport of MMA and not gravitating towards it with a strong base in one discipline.
When asked if people do not recognize his intelligence and articulate nature because he is an MMA fighter he joked with the confidence to use self-deprecating humour, " I am not that intelligent nor articulate. I'm just straight MMA. " While Jordan has impressed people with his well-rounded skills that have earned him this unofficial title, he has backed up the hype.
His past two fights were against former UFC fighters: Joe Riggs and Josh Burkman. Riggs once contested Matt Hughes for the UFC welterweight title and defeated G.S.P.'s next title challenger Nick Diaz: Mein vanquished him in the second round via TKO. He then won a convincing, unanimous decision over Burkman.
Mein's take on the Burkman fight was an example of what a humble and respectful person he is:"It taught me that I could get rocked and comeback. I learned that I can overcome adversity as I got rocked several times and was hurt a lot."
Being the future of anything can often create the opposite effect. It inherently creates pressure and often paradoxically manifests failure. Jordan on the pressure: " Pressure is what one needs in life. High pressure fights and competing at the highest level is what I want. The pressure is awesome because I know I can achieve the expectations."
Those that know of Jordan already, know of his father: Lee Mein. Lee is a stalwart in Western Canadian MMA. The iconic figure recently won on his 44th birthday and bolstered his record to 5-9. His real contributions have been to developing talent in Alberta and Western Canada. C.M.C. (Canadian Martial Arts Center) is where he grooms fighters and like many dads worked hard on his son.
According to Jordan, the plan was absolutely always for him to become an MMA fighter. " We started with Karate, Karate tournaments, Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu and Jiu Jitsu tournaments. It then progressed to Sport Jiu Jitsu which was basically MMA. Everything was geared towards doing MMA."
It has been well documented that fighters such as Floyd Mayweather Jr., Shane Mosley, and Oscar De La Hoya have had problems dealing with the father/coach relationship. Jordan happily says, " I want my father to get his percentage from his manager fee. He deserves it. Absolutely, he is still the key person driving my development."
People have asked for this young man to represent a nation. They expect titles and great fame. In considering the path G.S.P. has forged, emulated Canada's current king might be near impossible. Jordan's hopes for himself: " When I put my head on my pillow I hope to see myself being a great entertainer and filling seats. I want to give the people exciting shows."
Jordan's fight will air live on The Score in Canada and be broadcast on http://www.thescore.com/. The card begins at 7:30 (E.S.T.) The show will also feature former Pride star Rameau Sokoudjou (11-8) vs. Roy Boughton (5-1), host a battle between UFC veterans Joe Doerksen (46-15) and Luigi Fioravanti (22-9), and features, in separate matches, up-and-coming Canadians Antonio Carvalho (12-4) and Adrian Wooley (7-1). Check it out.