by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
It’s hard not to root for a guy like Ron “Machine Gun” Jhun. He’s one of the most sincere people in the sport, a dedicated family man, and an overall hard worker both inside and outside the ring.

Regardless of the outcome of his fights, Jhun has always maintained a positive outlook on things and now hopes that after a rocky year to rebound at this Friday’s Strikeforce event in San Jose fellow long-time MMA veteran Eugene “The Wolf” Jackson, a fighter Ron originally faced eight years ago.

“It’s like always, I’m ready to go,” said Jhun with a smile of his upcoming fight. “I’m pretty excited. We fought in the first [Superbrawl] 8-man tournament and we ended up in the finals. He beat me back then so yeah I’m looking forward to the rematch.”

When Jhun and Jackson originally met in 1998 the sport of MMA was still in its infancy and most fighters were still very dependant on one discipline. Even though both fighters have long utilized both the stand-up and ground games, Jhun feels that they’ve both come a long way since then.

“It’s been eight years and a lot changed,” exclaimed Ron. “Eugene has grown as a fighter and I, myself, have grown as a fighter. I’m learning more about the stand-up and ground games. It’s going to be fireworks, Eugene goes out to bang, I go out to bang, and we’re just going to lay everything on the line. I know he’s got nothing to lose and everything to gain and it’s the same with me, so I think you’ve got yourself a good fight.”

Jhun has seen a rough patch of luck lately that has seen him drop his last six bouts. But as Ron explains there were opportunities for many of those fights to have gone the other way and even with the bad luck he’s encountered, he hopes to turn things around on Friday and start revitalization for himself.

“I’ve got to make a statement and let everyone know I’m still in the game,” explained Jhun. “I’m going to introduce myself to the San Jose fans and kind of make myself a hometown favorite over there, so we’ll see what’s going to happen.”

“That’s the reason why I keep working and have even had some kickboxing fights to get that fire rekindled in me. I’ve been in a slump, I’ve had some hard luck with some fights being stopped by cuts and some bad decisions, but I’m still in the game, still focused and I’m just taking it fight after fight and not just looking down the road at bigger things,” added Ron.

Jhun is expecting a tough fight from Jackson, but it’s a fight he definitely feels he can win because styles make matches and this is a fight that could give his style a chance to shine brightest.

“It was a good opportunity for me to take this fight because everything’s possible,” said Ron. “It’s a wide-open fight and I think Eugene Jackson is tailor-made for me and I’m looking to make a big splash in 2007, so this is a good fight at the end of the year to start me off on the right track.”

Jhun continued, “Well you know they call me ‘The Machine Gun’ and you never know if I’m going to come over there and go off like an automatic or like a bazooka. [Laughs] You just can expect fireworks from me and hopefully I can bring out the old Ron Jhun and just come out and start laying some bombs.”

Should all go well at Strikeforce on the 8th, Jhun feels the future is wide open. And while he’s not one to speculate, he definitely feels he can become an impact player once again in the sport.

“[I’ve got] nothing signed for right now, but some names have popped up,” admitted Ron. “Maybe Cung Le down the road, who knows? I just want to be able to fight the best fighters in the world and still show that I’m a world class fighter and I still belong up there in the top ranks. For me that’s what drives me and motivates me, fighting the best, elite fighters in the world and testing my skills.”

“I don’t know what Scott Coker [Strikeforce promoter] has in store, but this is kind of like a grand opening for Ron Jhun in San Jose, so I’m looking forward to that and who knows what the future is for Strikeforce…I’m wanting to fight the best and would like to keep fighting for them,” further commented Jhun.

Regardless of outcome, Ron is, as always, excited to be getting back into the cage and is always thankful to those who’ve stuck with him and encourages fans to come out and checkout Strikeforce in San Jose this Friday.

“I’ve got some family and friends up there, a lot of people know me in California and so I’m going to have a small support group over there, and so I’m just going to go out there, establish myself and get some fans,” concluded Jhun.

“Like always I’d like to give my thanks to God, my lord Jesus Christ for giving me the strength to do what I do…my fans who’ve stuck with me through thick and thin…to all my sponsors, Tapout, Sprawl, Xyience, Bloodline, and Knockout Artist Fight Gear…everybody and MMAWeekly for giving me this chance to get out there and have a voice. To the fans, whatever walks of life…wherever you are…men, women, children, come out and support me and Strikeforce. It’s going to be a great show and you won’t be disappointed.”