Heading into last week’s Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov event in Cincinnati, many people had labeled Canadian welterweight Jordan Mein as an “up and comer” or a “prospect,” but in truth he was a veteran of nearly 30 fights when he took on Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, and needed every bit of that veteran experience to pull off the victory.
“The first couple rounds were in his favor – but the second round was a little closer I thought – and going into the third round my corner said I needed to put him away,” said Mein. “In the third round, I pushed the pace a little harder and that came true.
“I could tell he was wearing down a little bit. I checked a couple of his kicks, and I knew his feet were sore, and that always slows people down a lot when they can’t move that well. His pace slowed, I picked it up, and I got the win.”
Mein had spent the last several years making a name for himself on the Canadian fight circuit before he picked up three big wins this year against name opponents Joe Riggs, Josh Burkman, and Marius Zaromskis. Those wins got the attention of Zuffa and earned him the break he’d been working so hard for.
“I think by beating guys with names it gives you more recognition,” said Mein to MMAWeekly.com. “I’ve had some hard fights, but I’ve been fortunate enough to fight guys (recently) who have been around.
“Me fighting on Score this last year gave me a lot of recognition in Canada. Fighting in the States helped me get my name out there worldwide. I just want to get my name out there. That’s my goal.”
Averaging five fights a year, Mein hopes to continue to do the same in the future as it’s a big driving force in his career.
“It’s definitely a good motivator, but I like getting paid for each fight as well, so that’s why I take all of them,” he joked. “I love to compete, so I don’t know how my career is going to play out, but for now I want to fight the best, as much as I can.
“I always have so much to work on. It’s a never-ending learning curve. I keep realizing after every fight how much I love to train. So I’m going to keep it up and keep learning.”
Having proven he’s not overwhelmed by his new situation, Mein feels he can make a real impact in Strikeforce’s 170-pound division.
“I feel I fit in great,” he said. “I can compete with the best in the division. I’m really looking forward to seeing what Strikeforce lines up for me.
“I don’t really know what’s going to happen next, but I wouldn’t mind fighting right away, and having one more before the year (is out). If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen; I can take some rest and work on my skills and train at other places. Either or is good for me.”
While he may have been unknown by many before defeating Santos, Mein proved that he’s not only a veteran by the numbers, but has the fortitude of one inside the cage.
“I want to say thanks to everyone for their support,” he closed out. “A lot of people watched the fight, and I’m glad I could entertain them, that’s what I pride my game on.
“I’m looking forward to another one coming up. I’m not sure when it will be, but when it does, we’ll let you know.”