Jordan Howard talks new Bellator contract after winning Sept. 11th at Shamrock FC: Fuel

61f9e7fc98b11beda1f7427d58379565Recently Bellator MMA announced a partnership with Shamrock FC, where fighters competing for the Missouri based promotion have an opportunity to earn a Bellator contract. September 11th at Shamrock FC: Fuel, bantamweight Jordan Howard was a beneficiary of that policy. Howard (9-3) earned a unanimous decision over Dan Aguirre in the main event and subsequently earned a contract with the California based promotion. Heading into this matchup, everything was on point for Howard who had adequate time to prepare for his opponent. “I had great training camp; I had already been training for a couple of months.” Howard told MMAOddsBreaker. “I got married in May and I had a little break there but as soon as we came back from the honeymoon I started hitting it back hard.  I found out about two months out who my opponent was so I had time to develop a game plan and everything. I had no injuries, everything went great which normally doesn’t happen.” The 25-year old successfully made weight on Thursday night, his opponent however did not. Aguirre was over the bantamweight limit and therefore would not be competing for the promotions 135-pound title. “It is irritating, it’s frustrating. It’s actually the second time in a row that this has happened. Last time was understandable because it was a short notice replacement. But then for this time he knew well in advance what weight class we’re competing at. Our contract clearly stated it was 135-pounds. He showed up to the weigh ins an hour late. I had been cutting right until weigh ins. I knew when he came in late he was struggling. It fired me up of course because I worked my butt off making weight. It also made me possibly think his fight camp didn’t go well, so it was a confidence booster for me.” Howard ended up earning a unanimous decision victory, implementing a number of take downs, kicks and submission attempts. While a finish would have been ideal, Howard was happy he was able to stick to the gamplan and emerge victorious. “Looking at the strategy side of it you know it was a great fight for me. I did everything according to the game plan. I didn’t finish him which was really disappointing for me; I was on a six fight finish streak and he broke that streak for me. I was really close a couple of times with my hands and also with my submissions. Everything worked out well.” Joining one of the biggest MMA organizations is quite the accomplishment for a fighter in their mid-twenties. But Howard admits he’s not a hardcore fan of the sport and only watches MMA on TV when he has the time. “I watch Bellator here and there because I had a sneaking suspension this would happen. But I’m not actually a big fan of MMA; I don’t watch it on TV a whole lot. I’m an outdoorsman so I watch the hunting channel a lot. I don’t have any targets or goals as far as right now. My goal is to train as hard as possible and to make sure that I’m the best Jordan Howard when I step into the Bellator cage>” With the win, Howard earned his seventh victory in a row, a big accomplishment considering he lost three straight fights early in his career. So what’s the biggest difference between the fighter he was then compared to now? His attitude towards the sport. “I think my ego is something that was in my way during that losing streak. I prided myself on being a striker and only a striker. I didn’t need wrestling; I didn’t need jiu-jitsu so my main focus was only on striking. When I fought wrestlers or fighters who had any kind of jiu-jitsu at all, they all squeaked out a decision on me. I had to put my ego aside and focus more on wrestling and jiu-jitsu. Since then it’s made a huge difference. I also added a jiu-jitsu training to my arsenal and I started training with Cavalo Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in Columbia and that’s really taken my game to the next level.” While Howard would like to ride the momentum of his win on Friday night, he’s not in a rush to get back into the cage. In order for him to develop as a complete martial artist, he prefers to take a slow and steady approach to his fight career, rather than rushing into in his next matchup. “There was talk of me taking a fight on the [Bellator] November card but I’m not going to push that just yet, I want to make sure I give myself plenty of time to train. I want to be at the next level before I step into the cage. I like to do two, three fights year. Give myself plenty of time to recuperate after the fight. I cut 30-pounds for each fight, so it’s important for me to do it right way.  Over an extended period of time and not in a month.” You can follow Jordan on Twitter/Instagram @HowardATAmma. He would like to thank his sponsor Near Fall Clothing. 

Written by James Lynch

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