Shawn Jordan appreciates a good challenge.
The Strikeforce heavyweight crossed over from the gridiron as an LSU fullback to the cage just over two years ago. Jordan tasted his first bit of MMA competition at Bellator 9, at which he picked up a submission victory over Jayme McKinney. From there he graduated to other shows across the nation, but remained consistent in Bellator.
Originally training out of Gladiators Academy in Baton Rouge, La., Jordan had the proper instruction to develop the skills to compete. As his MMA career grew so did his aspirations to seek advice from other training facilities. He ended up in Albuquerque to train alongside some of the best combatants the sport has to offer.
“In my off time I will still be at Gladiators and L.A. Boxing, but I will be doing my camps at (Greg) Jackson’s,” Jordan explained to MMADieHards.com. “They have a great group of guys there. I have been training with Brian Stann, Jon Jones, Travis Browne, and Carlos Condit has a fight coming up, too. Not to mention the guys there that aren’t as big yet, but they are still really good training partners. It’s just a great bunch of training partners and good coaches and I learn a lot there.
“I’m training around a bunch of the greats in the sport and my camp has been awesome. I got to work on some new things and better my all-around game.”
Jordan is approaching a bout against Lavar Johnson at Strikeforce Challengers 19 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas on Friday. He believes there will be a difference in preparations for this bout compared to his last.
Jordan’s last outing pitted him against Devin Cole on July 22 at Strikeforce Challengers 17. The Texas native came up short in a unanimous decision against Cole as a late injury replacement for Johnson and admitted that it was not the smartest idea to accept the fight.
While Jordan could not pass on that opportunity, this time around fans will get a chance to see the fully prepared version go to work.
“In the fight against Devin Cole I wasn’t in the best shape,” Jordan admitted. “I didn’t get a quality camp in and it showed. I think coming in as a late replacement affected my performance, which is why I’m thankful to get a full camp in for this fight. I find a big difference when I get the chance and time to properly prepare for a fight. Everybody will see that in this fight.”
Jordan, like Johnson, has a career record littered with KO/TKO victories. Jordan is not intimidated by Johnson’s heavy hands, since he carries the same attribute. This appears to be a bout that will appeal to the stand-up fans.
“I’ve seen (Johnson) fight before, I think he’s tough, doesn’t quit, and like to keep it standing,” Jordan said. “I am looking forward to it. He’s a guy who likes to put on a good fight and he isn’t afraid to trade punches, so I think it should be a fun fight for everybody.”
The amount of pigskin players attempting mixed martial arts is increasing more than ever. Some do it because they love the sport, some are a sideshow.
Jordan is for real.
Jordan doesn’t compete in the cage to get attention, he says he does it for himself. Not one to take the easy road, if the obstacles continue to escalate he will be more than happy to clear them.
“As long as I keep challenging myself, I’m happy,” Jordan said. ”This isn’t like the level of football I played at, but it does challenge me in different ways. If I can keep fighting tougher guys and challenging myself I will be happy because I am always about challenging myself.”
With 10 finishes in his 14 fight career, it seems as though Jordan is a promising mixed martial artist who will continue to get what he wants.