Jordan Rinaldi

Photo courtesy of Rinaldi's Instagram account.

Ahead of fight at UFC 230, Jordan Rinaldi ready for 15 minute war against Jason Knight

On November 3, Jordan Rinaldi will make the walk to the Octagon in the featured preliminary bout against Jason Knight and to top it off, it is at the historic Madison Square Garden. Rinaldi says, he couldn’t be more excited for the UFC 230 fight.

“I was pumped, how many people can say they’ve fought at Madison Square Garden? How many people can say they fought in a big arena then to say MSG, that’s incredible, very rare, very few people in the world have done it, it’s just a blessing.”

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One week! @ufc #ufc230

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Rinaldi is making his return to the cage after losing to Gregor Gillespie at UFC on FOX 27. That fight took place at lightweight and after losing the fight and consulting with the UFC Performance Institute, Rinaldi decided to go down to featherweight. The cut will be done for the first time as a UFC fighter, but he did do it for regional fights.

“First time in the UFC, I’ve cut to 45 three or four times, I’ve forgot.  I’m excited about it, I’ve had a lot of help from the nutritionist and I guess the other people at the institute as well who help plan my training more according to what’s best for my body and feeding it according to what’s best for a diet. It’s worked out well heading down to 145 for sure.”

Lately it’s been a trend for fighters to move up in weight and fight closer to their natural weight. Rinaldi believes he will be better at featherweight and it was just laziness that prevented him from doing so earlier.

“I feel like 145 was what I should’ve been at but I was being lazy and cutting to 55 was super easy. The last few fights I was only cutting one to three pounds during fight week so it wasn’t really hard at all, it was just decent diet, it was just dieting on my own. And now, I won’t have much of a weight cut still just because of the change in the nutrition and the training. So, it just made sense, I was leaning out pretty easily and it has been a really easy cut so far. I don’t expect having any problem Friday morning, waking up and knocking it out pretty quickly.”

Making the adjustment to featherweight was part of the reason Rinaldi had to wait to return to the octagon, the other reason is he was recovering from a minor back injury and needed to treat it properly. He says he is a 100% now.

“Nothing crazy, I took the time necessary to heal from that well and now that it’s been a good while that I took the time and took the time and was cautious with it cause it was my back, it healed up really well.”

Fully healthy and his weight on point, Rinaldi is fully focused on his opponent, Jason Knight. Knight has been in a handful of wars and is known as an exciting fighter. Knight started off his UFC career well going 4-1 in his first five fights, however, he has lost his last three bouts. Both fighters would seem to need a victory to maintain a spot in the UFC, and though Rinaldi acknowledges it, he doesn’t feel pressure from it.

“I mean sure there is pressure on me, I’m 1-2 right now and if I lose, more than likely I’ll get cut. But the same thing is on him you know, he’s lost his last three so if he loses four in a row, even though he’s exciting, I doubt they’re going to hold onto him. So there should be pressure on him as well. That’s not in my mind when I’m training, when I’m fighting, my mind is set on beating Jason, that’s the job at hand. Everything else will fall into place if I do my job.”

The job at hand is a tough one, but the North Carolina native is looking for a quick night but prepared for a war.

“A quick night would be ideal but Jason is tough guy. He’s tough to put away, in the fights he has lost, I think he has only one or two stoppages. He’s a durable tough guy and he’s good everywhere, he’s solid everywhere, I expect a 15-minute war.”

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Doug Geller