Normally Ryan Jimmo is cool, calm, and collected heading into fights, but not for his upcoming MFC light-heavyweight title defense against Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at MFC 31 on Oct. 7 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
As Jimmo explained to MMAWeekly.com, the trouble started when the two taped an episode of HDNet’s “Inside MMA” the week before the fight.
“That guy grabbed my belt when we were on the show and was very dismissive of me,” said Jimmo. “I think he’s taking me very lightly.
“It’s really enraged me. Before, I was just focused on winning the fight, now I want to see how much bodily harm I came make him feel. I want to see how deformed I can make his face so that his children don’t recognize him.”
According to Jimmo, he’s only been this emotionally invested in a fight on a couple of occasions, and both occurrences ended badly for his opponents.
“(I felt this way heading into) my Wilson Gouveia fight and my Craig Zellner fight; and in both instances, the person I was fighting, I retired,” said Jimmo. “I retired them both, and now I’m planning on retiring Sokoudjou.”
When asked if he felt he could channel his anger and not have it work against him in the fight, Jimmo replied, “I’ve always had a good filter as to when to ease off, but I fight better when I’m kind of fired up.
“I’m very smart and tactical, and when you add in that emotional element, it’s a double whammy, and I’m unbeatable at that point.”
Putting emotion aside, Jimmo feels that both fighters have their advantages in the fight, but he has the edge in areas he feels will determine the outcome of the match.
“He may be a good stand-up player, but I’m a better stand-up player technically,” said Jimmo. “He’s pretty explosive; and I don’t think I’m as explosive, but I’m pretty close. His Judo is very good, but I have national-level wrestling, so I think we even up there.
“On the ground I think I’m better than him. Endurance-wise, I blow him out of the water. The thing I think that is going to be the huge differential is the mental game. I think that’s where he’s going to get crushed.”
Jimmo further commented, “I’m going to put him his heels the whole time and make him constantly uncomfortable, and then I’ll wait for him to wilt eventually. Some fighters when they wilt are able to come back, but not him – once he’s broken, he’s broken – so I’m going to break him and then really put some nasty punishment on him.”
With 15 wins in a row and a championship around his waist, many feel that Jimmo could be on the verge of making his move to the biggest stage of MMA, but he’s not having any of it at the moment.
“I’m fighting Sokoudjou on Oct. 7 and whatever comes after that, I’ll deal with that, but the only thing I can think about is Oct. 7 and putting on some target practice with Sokoudjou’s face,” he said. “I don’t look that far ahead; not at this point; after the fight then I can plan and see what’s going on, but right now, it’s Oct. 7.”
While most of the time its business as usual for Jimmo heading into a fight, on Friday night, it’s personal, and he doesn’t think anyone’s going to want to miss what’s going to happen.
“He enraged me, so you’re really going to want to see it,” he concluded. “You’re going to want to see the kind of beating I’m going to put on him. Don’t bring your children, but come see the show on Oct. 7 in Edmonton.”