EXCLUSIVE | Jared Papazian Discusses Life After The UFC
A standout in the Bantamweight division, the Encino,CA. native had this to say about his future, including his next title fight in Tachi Palace Fights against Russel Doane.
You were signed on at late notice to face John Robles. What’s the current contract situation? Are you currently signed to Tachi? Are you signed to WSOF?
“I did take the fight on short notice, I fought a teammate and the contract didn’t end up happening. I got a call from Tachi, a fight for a title, it’s non-exclusive. If something better comes around I could take it”.
Is it disheartening to fight a teammate and win a unanimous decision and not get a phone call back?
“It was kinda hard but when one door closes another one opens. They did call me on another short notice fight but I was not able to take it. It seems like they do want me but they keep calling me for short notice fights, it’s like give me a full camp. I’d love to fight Marlon Moraes of WSOF. I think I’d give him some trouble”.
On the topic of being overlooked at moments and times and staying motivated:
“It’s very hard, sometimes I get depressed or I don’t want to fight. If it was my choice I’d fight, it gives me something to look forward to. If I don’t have a fight I get antsy, emotional. When I get to fight it makes me happy. If everything goes healthy on this fight I plan on taking a fight the week after, we’ll see what happens. A lot of promotions don’t like to promote because of risk of injury but if I’m healthy we’ll see what happens”.
Do you think taking a week after puts you at a disadvantage because you did fight and your body hasn’t had a chance to heal up or is putting you on the same level because your bodies ready for it still?
“Preparing your mind for a fight is much more important than being in shape and what not”.
How long does it take for you to get your mind out if fight mode?
“I’m always on fight mode, I’m always looking at possible opponents, regardless if I’m in shape or not”.
You stay really busy, this is your fifth fight this year. Would you like to stay this busy if you could?
“I would like to fight every month or every other month, as much as possible. I like to have about 5, my slowest year was 3 fights. I’m use to fighting every month”.
When do you think it’s too much? Do you think there’s a limit where you think it’s too much for your body to handle.
“It all kind of matters who you’re fighting. I use to train so hard and now I have a whole different approach to training smartest, I listen to my body and if I need a few days off I take them. Before I didn’t do that. I was probably a rookie but now I’m more a seasoned veteran. I don’t over train. Before I would think I’m slacking off or missing out, but now I’m starting to listen to my body”.
Do think early on in your career you made a mistake by not listening to your body?
“Yeah, I would do a training session and then go to another right after, now I don’t do that, I go home and rest for 5 hours”.
Is it an advantage to you to have close to 30 fights at 25 years of age or do you think you’ve “fast forwarded” your life span in this sport by having this much experience at such a short age?
“I feel that the experience plays a huge factor, and the training as well. I do believe it’s an advantage. I have that Showtime experience, all these things play a huge advantage”.
“This sports evolved on how to go about your career, when I first started the sport was barely taking off, I started training late 2006, i didn’t have an amateur career. I went pro right away, I learned the hard way, I fought at 155 throughout my career and then I started slowly making it down to 145, 135 and now every bodies more edjucated and more knowledgeable, and I wish I knew what I know now when I started my career”.
“It’s such a new sport and I’m so excited to see how much more it will evolve. It’s going to be exciting”.
When discussing the topic of fighting outside of the UFC and now fighting for other organizations. Do you think that winning the Tachi Palace belt is the springboard back to the UFC? Is returning to the UFC the ultimate goal from this point?
“Winning the belt would be huge. Tachi has a great relationship with the UFC, and I think as long a I put on a good show and I’m exciting and I win this could be my shot at getting back, as long as their roster isn’t full. It’s either that it I could possibly sign with WSOF and fight for their belt. A lot of things could happen with a win in this fight. This is a fight two years in the making to fight Russel, I’ve been offered to fight him 3 or 4 times, now it’s actually happening, so I’m very happy with that”.
Do you look at other organizations and think “I’d love to fight that guy”?
“I wouldn’t mind fighting any of my friends. I was wrong for tweeting that Cody Bolinger, who just signed with WSOF ,should fight me but This is a business, we’re here to make money, and if an opportunity comes to do it why not. If they offered to have me fight a friend I would not turn it down. I plan on fighting for another 20 years until I’m 45. This sport is so young and it’s starting to show, Dan Henderson’s going
To renew his contract, he lost to an amazing fighter, and he’s gonna renew his contract and I feel the sport is still young, and a lot of guys at an older age are retiring”.
Do you think TRT has a part in guys being in the sport longer?
“I do believe some guys are taking some stuff. I’ll never take anything. As long as my bodies healthy I’ll fight. Thank god I’ve never pulled
Out due to any injury, I’m just very blessed on that. I’ll fight as long as my body can. The guys that are on TRT are still around because they need money. I feel like guys that make a lot of money need to be smart with their money, have a retirement, stick to a plan. By the time I’m done I plan on having these things set. You have to be smart with your business”.
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