Jason Witt recounts his path to his first UFC win
After an impressive second round submission win over Cole Williams at UFC Vegas 12 on Saturday, Glory MMA and Fitness standout Jason Witt (18-6) is ready to get back in the octagon, even if it means before 2020 comes to a close.
The path that the “Vanilla Gorilla” took to get to his first UFC win was not without uncertainty. He earned a call up to the promotion following four straight wins outside the octagon, but fell in his promotional debut just 48-seconds into the fight against Takashi Sato in June. Prior that loss, the last time that Witt tasted defeat was to Hugh Pulley at the 2018 Stronger Men’s Conference. It was that loss that forced Witt to dig deep and work his way back up to the top.
“I’d be lying if I said that there wasn’t (any doubt),” Witt said as he reflected on whether he would eventually make it to the UFC.
“There were times like, like after that Hugh Pulley fight, that I was like ‘man, I was on my way there.’ I was on a five fight win-streak. I was doing really well. Then I lost that fight and I was like ‘maybe I won’t make this.’ But getting this win on Saturday night really validated that sticking with what I was doing and staying consistent in the gym really paid off. No matter how many times I doubted myself, no matter how many times I was like ‘maybe this won’t work,’ it showed that staying with it and believing in myself was the key.”
Following the loss to Sato, Witt knew he had to pull it together. A 48-second loss in his UFC debut was not the visualization that he wanted to leave on the minds of his friends, family, and UFC brass.
“Man, there was no motivation for me,” Witt said. “I’m the type of person that, after that loss to Hugh Pulley, I went on a four-fight win streak. I’m the type of guy that if I lose a fight I will be back in the gym the next day and I will just come back stronger. I lost my UFC debut to Takashi Sato and I don’t even think we made it out of the arena before I was like ‘(James) Krause what can I work on? What can I fix? I’m the type of person that wants to get better. I want to be the best person I can be. It’s not a motivation issue for me. I don’t have to find the motivation. The losing is the motivation for me. I don’t want that feeling of ‘I f**king hate losing, I really do.’ Coming back into this camp, knowing that I was already in the UFC, it really helped me make a schedule of what I wanted to do, and I was in the gym every day, competing to win. I did the best I could. I asked questions to Krause, to Grant (Dawson), to everybody I could. I got the toughest training partners I could. That is what motivated me, the loss. I didn’t have to find the motivation, that was the motivation.
The entire team at Glory MMA and Fitness has been on a tear as of late. The next big fight the team will see comes next month when Megan Anderson challenges Amanda Nunes for her featherweight title in the main event of UFC 256.
“If we’re not the best team in the UFC right now, we are definitely on our way there,” Witt said. “Krause said it best this morning in his post practice speech. He was like ‘people keep asking what we’re doing different over here, and we’re not. We’re in the gym. It’s chop wood, carry water. It’s the same thing every day, we’re in the gym every day, we’re grinding every day. There’s no slacking. Everyone is being held to a higher standard. It’s obviously showing in the UFC. It’s obviously showing in the smaller shows too. It’s showing that we’re in the gym no matter what. We’re grinding every day. We’re staying ready. Look how many people are taking short notice fights. I took a short notice fight. Krause is taking short notice fights. Kevin Croom too. We’re in the gym working and I think that is what separates us, we’re grinding stuff out.”
Riding the momentum of Saturday night’s victory, Witt is eager to get back inside the octagon and show what he can do.
“Pretty injury free after this fight which I was pretty happy about,” he said. “I’d like to get back in there at the end of December or beginning of January.”
Who would you like to see Jason Witt fight next?