South Florida native, Thad Jean (2-0), is beyond a force to be reckoned with for welterweights worldwide.
The 23-year-old mixed martial artist kicked off his pro career with a bang earning two first-round finishes in less than two and a half months. As an amateur, Jean was the welterweight champion for the two most popular amateur organization’s in Florida, XFN and Combat Night. His style is one that does serious damage and his skillset is one with minimal, if any, weaknesses. His motivation and drive to be the best is admirable.
“God and my family are my motivation,” he said. “Also, I fight because I’m good at it and I have an amazing team with me.”
Jean got his start in martial arts after joining a Jiu-Jitsu gym in Oakland Park over five years ago. After being referred by a teammate to join an MMA gym, he took the opportunity and ran with it making his amateur debut not too far after. After a 2-2 start to his amateur career including a tough decision loss to Bellator welterweight, Roman Faraldo, and a victory over Titan FC welterweight champion, Dilano Taylor, he took a year off from fighting. When he returned to the cage in 2019, he unleashed a new animal. Jean won three straight, two by first-round finish, and secured those two amateur belts. Following his success as an amateur it was a no-brainer for him to make the jump to being a professional.
Prior to making the move up to pro, he took 10 months off just to train and sharpen his tools at Fight Sports Deerfield Beach. He is currently coached by the likes of MMA and Jiu-Jitsu legend, Gesias Cavalcante and the under appreciated Daniel Mendes. Jean does his training with fellow XFN champ and a former opponent of his, Jorge Molina, as well as Kendley St. Louis, Nikita Chub and Bellator vet, Corey Samuels. He stressed his appreciation and gratefulness for his coaches and his team.
“I’m blessed to have Daniel Mendes and Gesias [Cavalcante] in my corner. They have so much faith in me and give me knowledge and advice,” Jean explained. “This team is great, they make me more confident in myself.”
Training with the likes of Gesias Cavalcante means you’re more than prepared for most things that come your way on the ground. Jean, being a purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu, is that and then some as his offensive ground game is a pleasure to watch. In his pro debut, he showed of that grappling prowess and submitted his opponent in under four minutes. As his second pro bout came around, he faced a Jiu-Jitsu specialist and was forced to defend submission attempts. After having success on the defensive side, it was his hands that got him the victory, as he knocked out his opponent in under four and a half minutes. Whether Jean is entering the cage or leaving it, he oozes confidence and style. It might be his patented stance he does as the fights about to start or his celebration as he gets his hand raised. A couple of his most quality attributes are his patience and fight IQ.
“This is MMA, you have to be cautious at all times,” he said. “I try to be patient and never want to attack a wounded animal until the right opportunity comes.”
After speaking with Thad Jean, it was not only clear that he’s an insanely skillful martial artist, but also how his knowledge and awareness take him a long way. The 23-year-old is one of the most under appreciated fighters on the Florida regional scene and he will continue to prove that to the world as his career progresses. It’s safe to say Thad Jean could be a superstar one day.