After a year layoff that included a stint on The Ultimate Fighter, Jake Heun was able to get back to fighting last July and reel off two straight wins to close out 2014.
“I was not near as active that I would have liked,” Heun told MMAWeekly.com. “I was coming off The Ultimate Fighter, so I really couldn’t do anything until the show aired and all that stuff.
“I just felt like I really needed a win, so I just kind of played it a little bit safer than I liked to do (against Kendrick Miree). I ended up fighting Ron Fields down in the AFC here (in Florida next) and kicked him in the face and knocked him out in 20 seconds.”
Heading into 2015, Heun feels he’s made changes to his game that will fix issues that have hampered his career’s progress.
“I have this tendency – it happened in TUF – to go out and put a whoopin’ on somebody and then get caught in a submission,” said Heun. “I always end up in a bad position or give something up, so I’ve made a concerted effort to fight a bit more intelligently in that aspect.
“I’m going out of my way to make sure I don’t end up in bad positions.”
“He’s a big dude, he’s always yoked up, clearly has power in his hands, so I’m expecting him to be explosive and athletic, which is fine because I can play that game,” Heun said of Holder.
“What I’m excited about with Teddy is that he seems to want to stand up and strike with people, which is great because everyone I fought recently has wanted to take me down. I’m looking forward to standing with somebody, brawling a little bit, and open up my striking.”
Heun is hoping a win over Holder will put him in the kind of bouts he wants moving forward with WSOF.
“He’s not as big of a name as I was expecting,” said Heun. “I thought I was going to be in this tournament. That’s the way it was discussed with me and my management, and that didn’t happen, but it’s cool. A win is a win.
“I think what I need to do is finish this fight definitively. I want to make it known that I need to be fighting guys with a little bit more of a name. I’m not holding anything over Teddy, but I’m looking forward to showing up and kind of showing off a little bit.”