There’s no secret that the light heavyweight division lacks outside of the UFC and more so on the U.S. regional scene but the sport continues to grow and so that means new prospects will start to raise. 4-1 as an amateur and now undefeated at 4-0 as a pro, Clayton York is someone to watch for. The 205er out of Tualatin, Oregon will look to improve to 5-0 against Justus Faaiu (3-1) for Prime Fighting 11 out of Ridgefield, Washington this Saturday.
First of all, how did you get into MMA? Also, do you have any background in any other type of martial arts?
I wrestled in high school, played football in college, and found my way into jiu-jitsu after football in 2013.
What do you do for work or would MMA be your full-time job?
I studied exercise and sports science at OSU and I am a personal trainer at Club Sport Oregon.
Who are you currently training with?
I train with Impact jiujitsu and team alpha male.
How is the cut to 205? What is your go-to meal after weight cut?
I drop from 220 to 205 and it’s not a bad weight cut for me. I try to consume starchy high carb and fat meals after weigh-ins. White rice, butter, oil.
You have one loss in your career which was as an amateur coming to Tyree Fortune. How did that loss change you as a fighter?
My loss as an amateur made me realize I had to get serious about training and getting better and I’m very thankful for that experience in hindsight. My physical capabilities, cardio, strength, gas tank, and wrestling have gotten exponentially better since then and I am by far a different athlete.
What has been the high or your mma career and what has been the low?
The lowest point in my career was my loss as an amateur. The high point was beating Justus in 2017 after three rounds because it proved that I can go the distance with a tough fighter and out work and out skill guys that can take a lot of punishment.
What would be your favorite striking and grappling technique?
My favorite weapons standing up are my straight right and my low kick. My favorite grappling techniques are back attacks.
There isn’t much footage available on you. What should the fans expect watching you fight when first tuning in?
In this fight, you can expect to see dominant wrestling and grappling.
Explain a normal day in the life of Clayton York?
I spend the mornings with my son, taking him to the park or watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I go to work, I train.
You’re fighting Justus Faaiu this Saturday. What do you think of him as an opponent and how do you see this fight playing out?
Justus is a very tough, very fast twitch, athletic fighter with a deep gas tank and good patience. Very powerful kicks and straight punches, fights from the outside, enters and disengages. He is going to avoid takedowns and try to keep it up on the feet. I’m going to close the distance and take him down. No secrets, we both know what the other is planning to do.
Last question, why do you fight? Who do you fight for? And why do you have the passion for this sport?
I fight for my son, for myself, for my family. Because it’s a part of who I am as much as it is something I love to do.