John Salter has 19 career professional fights, amassing an impressive 15-4 record without ever having a single fight go to the judges’ scorecards. Salter has 8 TKO’s and 7 submissions under his belt in his wins and will be attempting to add to that number on November 30 as he garners the spotlight in the main event of Bellator 210 which takes place in Thackerville, Oklahoma. His opponent is the very dangerous, Chidi Njokuani (18-5).
Salter is listed on the Bellator website as a submission fighter. A quick look at his resume will explain why. After winning the 2007 NAIA National Wrestling championship at Linwood University of St. Louis Missouri, John dove head first into grappling and then on to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and kick boxing. Currently, Salter is the owner/head coach of Salty Dog Jiu Jitsu (www.saltydogjiujitsu.com) in Wilmington, North Carolina and is a full time mixed martial artist who dabbles as a real estate agent as well. I had the opportunity to chat with John leading up to his big battle in the main event and ask him some about his career and upcoming fight…
You were on a 7 fight win streak before you were defeated in your last fight against Rafael Lovato Jr. What did you learn from that fight?
“I knew that I couldn’t make any mistakes against a very tough guy like Lovato and that’s what happened. Going into the third round, I thought things were going my way and he wound up on top of me and I did panic a little bit. No excuses. He was the better fighter that night.”
Do you watch a lot of film on yourself and your opponents?
“Some of my training partners do watch a lot of film and study. I do have them send it to me. Many times you think you did something better than you really did. Normally I do not watch much film on my opponents just because that can get into your head, but for this fight, it’s the most film I’ve ever watched. I wanted to be totally prepared for anything.”
Going through camp during the Thanksgiving holiday, what is the food that you’re going to miss most?
“I love pizza. I can’t eat it during camp and I really like Christmas food especially peanut butter fudge. I’ll be able to eat everything after camp. It’s kind of good timing with this fight and having the Christmas season right around the corner.”
Who do you rely on to help you improve your game and who has taught you the most about the sport?
“For my jiu jitsu it’s Shawn Hammonds. He’s got an answer for just about anything. Ed Clay has taught me a lot even though it’s been a while since we worked. Josh Koscheck has been very integral. I’ve been able to pick his brain especially since he’s been in so many big fights. Jeff Jimmo out of Charlotte is brilliant at putting fight plans together and strategizing. I also have Derek Brunson here with me.”
What is your prediction for the fight?
“I think I’m the bigger, stronger fighter and I am going to control him. I’m not looking for this fight to go to the judges and can see a finish in the first or third round. I will be getting my hand raised.”