“Iron Sharpens Iron”
Justin Yodice is scheduled to make his amateur MMA debut Friday evening, April 28, 2017, at The Space in Westbury on the Triton Fights 2 card. The lightweight fighter trains out of Bellmore Kickboxing MMA and Trigon Academy. Triton Fights 2 doors swing open to the crowd at 6 pm and fights are set to start an hour after. Yodice is making his debut against a tough opponent in UFC Gym -Staten Island’s No. 9-ranked, Jose Rodriguez (1-0).
The 21-year-old entered mixed martial arts with a strong wrestling background and has now been training in jiu-jitsu for three years. He began wrestling in middle school and pursued the sport through high school. Jumping right into coaching after graduation, Yodice has been a coach at Commack high school for the last four years. Interested in using his wrestling foundation to compete, he transitioned into BJJ where he began training at East Northport’s Trigon Academy. Knowing that MMA has evolved drastically over the last decade and that athletes need to be well-rounded in all areas of martial arts, Yodice joined Keith Tremble at Bellmore Kickboxing MMA to develop his striking game.
“Coaching is the best thing to happen to me,” Yodice said. The high school coach explained the detail it requires to coach other individuals and by putting an emphasis on details it has taken his training to the next level. As an athlete, it’s easy to know how to complete a double leg takedown for example but to be able to explain every detail of that skill to another will improve proper technique when the going gets tough.
Confidence is a great way of explaining Yodice (0-0). He’s a well-spoken individual that believes in his training and accepted a fight for his MMA debut that many fighters wouldn’t take with experience. Yodice trains five days a week and has been competing in numerous tournaments leading up to his first appearance inside the cage. Justin Yodice main sparring partner at Bellmore Kickboxing MMA is fellow amateur lightweight and No. 10-ranked, Dave Della Rocca.
What Inspires Yodice?
One of Yodice’s biggest inspirations was his childhood friend, Nick Weber. Weber was one of Kings Park greatest wrestlers to come out of the program. Signed to wrestle at one of the nation’s top programs, Lehigh University. Weber was a two-time all-county wrestler, including a section-11 county championship, and an all-state wrestler as a junior, after placing fifth via a 1-0 win over Kevin Tynes (Senior), of Brooklyn Tech. Tragically, Weber’s life was cut short on May 17, 2016.
“He probably had one of the biggest impacts on me,” said Yodice. The high school coach explained why Weber was so influential to him. Another person that inspires Yodice deeply is his Sensi, John Giotis.
Click below to listen to Justin Yodice explain who inspires him.
Justin Yodice Training and Recovery!
“I’m training with some of the best amateurs, I’m sparring with Austin Wolfson, Dave Della Rocca, Tom Kerns,” said Yodice. According to MyMMANews.com Rankings, Wolfson is the No. 4-ranked welterweight in New York State. Justin Yodice’s main sparring partner at Bellmore Kickboxing MMA is fellow amateur lightweight and No. 10-ranked, Dave Della Rocca. He also sparred with UFC’s Gregor Gillespie and worked hour-long private lessons with Head Coach Keith Trimble.
“Confidence in preparation,” the young athlete kept mentioning to My MMA News throughout the interview. He mentioned he’ll have nerves before entering the cage, but like anything in life, if you are prepared, success will follow. The Commack native also talked about how important recovery is to him after each training session throughout camp. Yodice swears by his recovery method, Cryotherapy, which has become very popular among MMA athletes on Long Island. Cryology is Long Island’s first Cryotherapy center. It’s located in Babylon, New York and is one of Yodice’s sponsors for this fight.
Yodice is a solid and strong lightweight fighter that used a grappling tournament to practice a weight cut before his MMA debut. After a successful weight cut for an individual who walks around at 175-180-pounds, the amateur fighter acknowledged he’s too small for welterweight.
“He definitely like to come out and fight,” said Yodice, about his opponent, Rodriguez. The former Commack High School wrestler likes to keep an aggressive wrestlers pace throughout his training. He defined his style as high paced and seeking to crush the will of his opponent. “He’s an aggressive fighter and we trained for that,” Yodice said.
On Friday night Yodice will stand across from Rodriguez. These two fighters will most likely deliver fireworks in a bout that has the potential for Fight of the Night. When two fighters have aggressive styles, it’s only possible outcome is an early finish. The best scenario would be a three-round slugfest battle.
“I’ve always wanted to secure my future,” said Yodice. Yodice is a very interesting person. Similar to Triton Fights middleweight champion, Eric Ott, the young lightweight fighter has his hands in a multitude of interests. Among many of his interests, He’s into investing in stocks, created a clothing line, fighting, his jobs as a rigger (heavy machinery), EMT and coaching. After his amateur debut, he looks to invest more time into his clothing line, Get Yolked.
“I’m doing this out of passion and Love,” Justin Yodice said.