Interview with Jesse Strader above
Jesse Strader is ready to crack with no crowd inside the UFC Apex.
The California-based bantamweight Strader received a phone call last Wednesday from his management team and was signed by the UFC the following day. He will be making his promotional debut on 10 days’ notice at UFC Vegas 22 against Montel Jackson.
“Before they even gave me his name, I was preparing for a UFC fight,” Strader told MyMMANews. “And I was already telling myself there is no easy UFC fight. There is no such thing. That doesn’t exist. That’s the top of the line. That’s as high as it gets. So the name wasn’t really a factor. But, of course, he’s tough. I was expecting that and he’s good.
“He’s a rangy southpaw. He’s a little taller for the weight class. Also, he can wrestle with the best of them. He’s got good takedown defense and I saw he’s got a submission victory. It’s all good. It’s all to be expected.”
Coming in on short notice and not having had a fight since August 2019, many will point to inactivity as a concern. The 29-year-old American pays no attention to that talk.
“Honestly, I don’t really believe in [ring rust] too much just because I’ve stayed in the competition,” the Combate Americas veteran said. “I’ve gone out sparring. I’ve gone out competing against people I didn’t know.
“I think I have an edge if anybody is thinking like that. If anyone is thinking I got ring rust or they’re counting me out in any way or looking at my record, they’re in for a surprise.”
On top of that, the SoCal Fight Factory staple will be competing for the first time in the pandemic era. Strader is embracing it with open arms and willing to soak up all the intricacies.
“In how many lifetimes are you in a pandemic and you’re able to compete in something,” Strader said. “Let alone compete in the UFC so I thought about it. I just want to fight during this time. I want to weigh in with the mask, I want the whole thing. I want the whole weird vibe, the empty room. Fighting with no crowd. Silence.
“So you can just hear the cracks. I think it is an advantage for me because I won’t have a crowd to drown out my coaches. I won’t have a crowd to drown out my corner at all. I believe strongly and heavily in my corner. And I strongly and heavily believe in my abilities.”
Strader’s knockout-to-win percentage stands at 75% and has only gone to the judges once in his career. He is all action and plans the same for Jackson inside the Octagon.
“I’m getting my hand raised by finish,” Strader predicts for his UFC debut.
South Korea-based combat sports reporter that covers many of the major organizations around the world.