Having originally came to MMA in a somewhat roundabout way, bantamweight JP Buys has been able to make the transition to the sport in part thanks to the determination in his will, and athleticism he’s been able to hone since he was young.
In addition to his own personal attributes, Buys has also been able to depend on his wife, Cheyanne, also a pro MMA fighter, to help him keep on a positive path through all the shifts he’s seen in his career.
“I started wrestling hoping the wrestling would increase my performance on the rugby field, and then from wrestling I started training MMA hoping MMA would increase my performance on the wrestling mats, and it’s just been growing the whole time,” Buys told MMAWeekly.com.
“(Since relocating to the US from South Africa) I have a lot more peace of mind knowing I will have a lot more opportunities in the future. With me and my wife being in the same career, being on the same goals 24 hours a day, every day of our lives, it’s not something we have to stop and think about, we just have to live the life every day.”
Buys feels like his previous sports have helped in his MMA career in different ways. In particular his conditioning has benefited a lot from his prior sports endeavors.
“I was a really small kid, and on the rugby field there’s no size, no weight, so I’ve played against much bigger kids and smaller kids, so I think that’s been a big role of mine,” said Buys. “Obviously now I fight in a weight category, but you still get people who cut more weight than you or less weigh than you, and I feel there’s no pressure on me because I’ve been tested against bigger people.
“In wrestling I used to compete every weekend, so that helped me a lot and my body kind of developed into the fighter I am today. I can take short notice fights because it’s really easy for me to cut weight. I think the other sports added a lot of benefits to who I am now.”
On November 15 in Belton, Texas, Buys (7-2) will look to pick up his fourth win in a row when he faces Christian Rodriguez Jr. (4-2) in a 135-pound bout at LFA 78.
“He’s a talented kid, he likes fighting, but I don’t think there’s any way he’s better than me,” Buys said of Rodriguez. “If I had to fight him in each aspect, each martial art, individually, I don’t think there’s any point of the fight that he can beat me. If I just go out there and perform at my best I will put him away.”
For Buys, he has a goal he would like to achieve by year’s end, but if it doesn’t come to pass he’ll just reset and look to get it accomplished in 2020.
“I made myself 19 goals at the beginning of the year; some of them being on the financial side, some in my life, some on my career; it’s been a goal of mine that I would have a (UFC contract),” said Buys.
“That will give me six weeks until the end of 2019, and it’s still a goal of mine to get that (contract) this year. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll go fight by fight, and that goal will be there for 2020 again.”