After picking up an impressive 63-second submission victory in his amateur debut in June of 2018, bantamweight Jeff Joy was looking to keep his momentum going when an injury sidelined him for the remainder of the year.
Shortly after he picked up his debut win against Ton Vivieros at Cage Titans 39, Joy suffered the injury that would cost him seven months of action.
“I broke my foot about a month after I fought at the end of July/August, then had rehab, and started training again,” Joy told MMAWeekly.com.
Finally recovered and ready to fight again, Joy has since gone on to pick up back to back victories in 2019 and claim the Cage Titans bantamweight title in the process.
“January hits and I fight Will Alfano and it goes great,” said Joy. “It was a good fight, back and forth, and I think my hands and submissions were deeper than his.
“I took a month and a half off and just trained for that (Arthur Mpofu title) fight. That was a real emotional fight and everything worked out like it was supposed to.”
This Saturday in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Joy (3-0) will look to defend his title for the first time when he faces Kam Arnold (5-0) in the 135-pound championship main event of Cage Titans 45.
“He’s a big puncher,” Joy said of Arnold. “Obviously I can’t stand flat-footed in front of him like a lot of people did and give him easy shots. I have to be in and out.
“I have to work for the takedowns. I can’t get silly with him. I can’t keep my hands down. I’ve always got to be on my toes with him and use a lot of movement to get this win.”
Being undefeated with a title in hand, Joy could make a case for turning pro sooner than later. Rather than force it, Joy would rather let the move happen when it happens.
“In my personal experience things work out best when you don’t force them,” said Joy. “I can’t really think about that. I’ve talked about and have probably talked about it too much during this camp anyway, so I’ve just got to focus on camp.
“This fight is to see who is number one in the Northeast, and anything after that can happen. Like my trainer has said, we’ll talk about all that shit after.”