Jason Przewoznik: Good afternoon J.A., Thanks for taking the time to talk with us! KnockoutLounge is about supporting all up and coming and established fighters in the MMA game. But besides that, we also want to understand the person behind the ‘fighter’ we see… Care to share a little about who you are, where you grew up, etc?
J.A. Dudley: Thank you for having me… I guess I will start with the basic because the stories in my life can get a little wild. I was born in Newark, NJ… I lived in east orange untill i was 13, then I moved to Plainfield, NJ where I attended high school; played football and was given the name J.A.
After my senior football season, one day after work in December 1997 I caught a cramp in my leg… It was so bad that there was a thought to just amputate my leg at the knee! It was called Front Anterior Compartment Syndrome, so then ended up cutting that muscle out expecting me not to walk again let alone play sports! …So after 7 surgeries, they told me wheel chair for the rest of my life… I turned that into crutches, then a cane, and a few years later playing semi-pro football!
JP: Nice man!! It’s miracles like that, that inspire people to never give up…after playing semi-pro football and recovering from FACS, what was it that introduced you to mixed martial arts?
JA: Bouncing at clubs and having to control situations. I have had to fight a few nights in a row to handle things. Someone came up to me and said that I should try BJJ, this way I could grab someone and then calm them down (instead of uncontrolled violence). While working at a gym as a personal trainer, some BJJ school came in to hold classes there and the warm-up killed me! So, I was all in but, could not understand the instructors. One of their students told me about a place called BAMMA, a school ran by Eddy Rolon. So I go check it out… I meet Eddy and get on the mat. What’s the first thing I do? I jump guard! I was about 285lbs and Eddy was about 185 at the time. One thing did not agree with the situation his knee, it blew out. He said nothing, passed my guard, and got me in a side choke… I tapped then signed up!
JP: Haha. How would you say the training changed your bouncing career; did you truly see a change in being able to control a situation better than you might have before?
Also, Eddy Rolon – are you a part of Team End Game or just training under him? It’s crazy how the ‘tech’ of a fighter can make someone tap no matter the size difference!
JA: The training not only made me a better bouncer, but a better person! It gave me the confidence to hold on to my patience with people in everyday life.
Here is a problem, what do I do? I blow up at the situation and make it worse? …Or stay calm & work my way through anything that’s coming at me? I keep my emotions out [of it] and just look at the facts to deal with the situation.
With that outlook I can deal with anything and over come a problem that being big and bad would not solve the issue.
Yes I am a Team Endgame Fighter, have always been & plan to be for the rest of my fighting career! There has been a dedication that I have made to honor what he has created. I guess like in the old karate movies or in a traditional school you would wear the mark of your school or teacher as you go on with what ever you do. I can’t say I am “this color belt” under Eddy Rolon because we don’t follow a traditional system like that, so I just rep. Team Endgame where ever I go!
I fight under 2 banners to be exact, Team Endgame & Rosky Combat Sports under the instruction of Dave Rosky. I was introduced to Rosky in 2007 to help sharpen my MMA and get the 1 on 1 focus that I need to be a strong competitor in heavyweight MMA.
JP: Definitely shows your character as well as those training you throughout everything you just said. The ability to have self-discipline and assess situations, the support and loyalty you and your teams have for each other is great as well; it’s things like that, that truly create champions!
Now given Rolon and Rosky who have overall submission victories, would you say you have the same style? Have you trained to be more technical rather than using your size and power in a stand-up game?
JA: Hmm. Good question, one thing that I hold key is my conditioning that I call the “Rebel Fighting System”. I mentally and physically condition my mind and body to take a hit and still be able to move forward without showing any weakness or fatigue. I am still trying to find a balance between technical and relying on my strength to carry me through. In training it’s all about technique the ‘holy shit light’ is off and the ‘percentage / caution’ meter is off. In that state, I am free to work my technique on the ground and I am sharp and fearless during sparring. But when a fight comes around I can still keep the ‘holy shit light’ dim but the ‘percentage/caution’ meter is in full effect. When that meter is on, my brain looks at my available output; what’s coming at me, what from my training can I use at this moment, and what effectiveness will it have? When I think like that everything from training goes out the window & I revert back to the basics of punch, kick, and drive forward [for a] take-down. That’s maybe 5% of my arsenal. I look to show more of my abilities in my upcoming fights!
JP: It’s true, and have heard it time and time again; getting in the cage is completely different than training – knowing your trainer isn’t out there to take the win from you.
Now you’ve fought as a heavyweight fighter since it appears, 2007? What is your current record at [pro/ammy]. In those 4 years what have you noticed or learned from the first time you stepped in the cage and where you currently stand?
JA: Yes. 2007 was my pro start. My record amateur was 3-0, professionally 4-7 (4-8 listed online). There are 2 fights that I have issues with on my record that are losses. One vs Steven Banks, it was not an MMA fight, it was a Muay Thai fight that was originally scheduled as an MMA fight, but he was a last minute change and we agreed to terms the day before. …And my last fight for Bellator vs. Azunna Anyanwu, it was a great fight that after I got rocked, I turned to stand up and the ref. stopped the action! If I was out or not defending my self, I would have been ok with it, but there was no just cause for the stoppage.
Things that I have learned over the years, is that I am durable, at least that’s what Rosky tells me & that I try to keep my self in shape year round because I have gotten quite a few last minute calls to fight. Another thing I have been working on has been being patient through the fight. I started that mindset vs Tom Deblass, but it was a slow pace with not enough time with the fight being a 2 round fight, so I did not react until he would push the pace. Now, we will see what comes out in my next fight.
JP: Unfortunately stoppages are a pain in the ass, some refs will call em the minute someone gets rocked or bleeds a drop of blood, some will watch you get pummelled like they have a blood thirst…or in Chiek Kongo’s case, you will get rocked and get back up and KO your opponent! Haha.
So you fought for Bellator, how was that experience? Do you have a contract with them or was it a single fight contract?
JA: As of right now, it was a single fight deal. But from what they said, Bellator liked what I have and would possibly have me back in 2012!
JP: That’s awesome man! Now you have a losing record, in which, I feel your losses are your best instructors; learning your weaknesses and developing them into your training. Do you watch your fights and catch your mistakes? Do you want to share anything about the learning experience that losing opens doors to?
What is your training regiment like? Do you train daily and do you increase or decrease training intensity pre-fight?
JA: My training has changed over the years. From 2003-2005, I was training half the year for MMA & the other half to Semi-pro & arena football; power lifting and running. When I would train and take classes, it would be around 6+ hours per day 4-5 days a week. In april 2007, when I went back to my day job at Verizon, my availability to train changed. 4 hours, 4 days a week, no conditioning outside of training and I stopped weight lifting in 2004 because it killed my punching endurance. Over the past 2 years my training is about 2 hours of intense focused training; 4 times a week and closer to fight time, sparring on the weekends are added. I run 3 times a week late at night after practice and I do a conditioning regiment every morning. Just this past Sunday I ran down and up this sick hill, Washington Ave. in Watchung, NJ that leads to this over-look called Washington Rock, the elevation is about 400ft. IT SUCKED! (video). The next time I’m taking that trip will be December 25th bright and early!
JP: I know the place, use to go there often years ago. Going from a 3-0 Amateur Record, then stepping into Professional; was it much different? Competition, regulations, etc – change alot?
JA: Going from Amateur to Pro was based on not being able to get any heavyweight fights. Early on, I had the strength but not the stamina while fighting. Now, I’m more well rounded with conserving energy & recovery. The only thing that has been missing from my training are sparring partners that I can actually hit! Early on in my training Eddy pulled me to the side when I was too rough on a beginner and told me, “Don’t break your toys or you won’t have anything to play with” …that stuck in my head, so I would adjust my impact to what someone could take & that would make me trigger shy. As of fighting Deblass, he has invited me down to spar and that has been great! But it’s a trip to get down to his school with so many responsibilities up north, making it south to him has been tough.
The rules change was never hard to overcome. In some fights just remembering that the fight promoter allows elbows or not. Other than that it’s just routine.
JP: I like that little motto, haha. Very true, though, too. So what would you say is next for you? Anything lined up yet? What’s your goals in the MMA and the future?
JA: Well for 2012 I want to fight 10 times and then drop to 205. I have a few promoters that I am set to fight for but nothing signed yet.
My biggest goal in MMA is to get at the least 2 pairs of black MMA gloves with the most famous 3 letters on them. One pair for myself and one for both of my coaches Rolon & Rosky.
JP: Fight 10 times, THEN drop to 205 still in 2012? You’re looking at no suspensions or recovery times! I hope you can achieve that goal! Dropping to 205, are you looking to be the man who takes Jones’ belt from em?
JA: It’s is going to be a tough grind, but I want to put it all out there to see what I come out with! 205 would be just another goal for me to achieve for myself. Going from 205lbs in 1999, contemplating going into the marines and chose the phone company; taking my weight up to 300lbs to play semi-pro football by 2001, so to get back down would be the icing on the cake for me! The thought about fighting Jones is the furthest from my brain. Tearing through the local level fight scene and getting my birth into a top tier promotion with a multi-fight deal, then could I only look forward to a championship run vs. a champion of his caliber.
JP: Awesome man… And what an awesome mind-set – you know where you stand and the growth you have to overcome. I hope to see you get into one of the top promotions and achieve continued success! With the mindset you have as well as the training you’re receiving – it shouldn’t be farfetched at all!
Coming down to the end of this, I got to get to our trademark question; Who is your favorite super hero and why?
JA: Wow. This is tough! Where do I start…..
1: Tyler Durden, he is a hero to many but, he does not wear a mask. He uses supreme logic to get though a situation no matter how crazy it sounds.
2: Dr Manhattan; he achieved the power of a God and relized the uselessness of the human condition. He existed everywhere all at once & could go anywhere in outer space.
3: BATMAN! Why? Because he’s BATMAN!!!
JP: Haha …Generally favorite means one. IE: FAVORITE. …So Fight Club, Watch Men, and Bat Man…pretty diverse group of smart bad-asses! Is there anything you’d want to share with any up and coming fighters that maybe you’ve learned in the fight game? Also is there anyone you’d like to give shout outs to or any special thanks?
JA: To any fighters just know why you are here. It is not a easy road to take. Make sure you train hard and listen to your coaches. Never stop learning or adding to your arsenal. Conditioning is key, because if you can’t breathe …you can’t fight!
Shouts to my coaches:
Eddy Rolon – TeamEndGame.com // Facebook & Twitter @endgamemma
Dave Rosky – RoskyCombatSports.com // Facebook & Twitter @roskycombatmma
Shout to all of my training partners and everyone that has stepped into the cage with me!
Also want to thank my family for supporting me on this endeavor.
If people want to find me, they can google me or on Facebook: rebelfightingsystem & on twitter @fulmetalartimis or @njREBELfs
JP: Great man, I really appreciate your time and hope to see you break ground in a top promotion! We’ll be in touch definitely throughout your career as well!
JA: Ok, Great!