Welterweight Alan Jouban had the kind of UFC debut that he had only dreamed of before.
Not only did he pick up a win over a promotional veteran in Seth Baczynski, but Jouban also picked up Fight of the Night honors at UFC Fight Night 47 this past August.
“To get my first UFC win with a knockout and get a bonus on top of that against a fighter like him has always been a goal of mine, and to accomplish all of that, I was thrilled,” Jouban told MMAWeekly.com.
“It’s not always the coach’s favorite thing to hear, but as a fighter growing up being kind of a Rocky movie guy, getting a Fight of the Night bonus to me is almost much more rewarding than getting a Knockout of the Night bonus. It means that the promoters are happy, the fans are happy, and even though he lost, I’m happy for Seth because at least he walked away with a bonus.”
Though he picked up an impressive win, Jouban isn’t totally happy with how he performed in the fight against Baczynski.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything better with the outcome, but technically and performance-wise, I could have done some things differently,” said Jouban. “I could have not left my chin more exposed, because I got caught, and I did turn it into a bit of a slugfest when I really wanted to stay elusive. So there are some major things I could have cleaned up.”
While the win has definitely put him on the map, more so important to Jouban is that it validated the support he’s been given by those around him since he’s been fighting.
“I’m not the type of person who needs people to pat me on the back and stuff like that, but I just notice that people are proud of me and my coaches were telling the team about my fight, so it’s really rewarding and gratifying to win for the people who have always been rooting for me and been pushing for me,” said Jouban. “I wanted to prove them right.”
Jouban (10-2) will look to pick up his second win in the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 56 on Nov. 8 in Uberlandia, Brazil, against The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 winner Warlley Alves (7-0).
“I think a lot of guys aren’t eager to step up to him because he’s really aggressive, strong, is undefeated, won The Ultimate Fighter, and has dropped down in weight,” said Jouban of Alves. “He’s one of those guys that a lot of guys are intimidated by.
“As long as I can stay out of his strengths and stay away from those danger zones where he’s the strongest at and fight everywhere else, I can try to play him into my strengths. Mainly if I keep my back away from the cage and off the ground, I think I will fare well against him.”
Jouban feels a win over Alves can set his career further on a path towards facing the top opposition the UFC has to offer.
“A win over Warlley after beating Seth would probably put me in line to fight Top 20 guys or something like that,” said Jouban. “I think it moves me up the ladder even further and creates an even better match-up for me in the next fight.”