EXCLUSIVE | Alan Jouban says Yair Rodriguez situation influenced him to take fight in Hamburg

Initially, American welterweight Alan Jouban wasn’t very excited about the possibility of flying all the way to Hamburg, Germany to fight Danny Roberts on July 22. He even thought about turning the fight down. But then, amid the UFC’s ostensible release of Yair Rodriguez, and the difficulty some of his teammates were having getting fights, Jouban decided he’d be better off accepting the fight.

Jouban broke down his decision-making process on the latest episode of BJPENN.COM Radio.

“I’ll be completely honest with you, I was not excited about Germany,” Jouban sad. “I turned it down. Because this is the thing: I was looking for a fight, and I didn’t know who I wanted to fight, but I needed a timeline that I was gonna be healed. And then obviously I wanted a close destination. I knew I was gonna be ready around July. So I was asking for July 6th or 7th in Vegas. You know I’m in LA, I’m based in LA. Vegas is right there. And there was some exciting fights [on those cards], so that’s what I was asking for. And then also I saw the August 4th Staples Center card got put on the map, so I was like if I can’t get Vegas in July, let me get Staples Center in LA.”

“[Then] they threw me Germany, July 22nd,” Jouban said. “So I went back to them and I was pissed, and I was like, ‘Hell no. Why am I going to Germany?’ You know, why am I flying 18 hours and spending all this money on flights and hotels when I could fight right at home? You know, or in Vegas?  So I turned it down, man. I turned down the fight. And this is in the same timeline that the stuff was going on with Yair Rodriguez, where he turned down a fight and they cut him. And some other guys were having trouble with getting fights and match-making. I know a lot of guys that I train with that were saying they’re having a tough time getting fights. So this is all going on [at the time], and I feel like the UFC’s in a position right now where they kind of want to use their authority. They kind of want to use their power trip at the moment and tell guys what they want them to do.”

It was these factors that eventually influenced Jouban to accept the fight in Germany.

“I think they had their heart set on Danny fighting in Germany,” he said. “I went back and accepted it because I figured, you know Dana White put out a tweet the other day I think, saying, ‘If we offer you a fight, it’s best for you to take it.’

“I took the fight, wasn’t very pleased about it, that they were making me travel across the world when I could be fighting in my backyard multiple opportunities,” he continued. “I moved on though, man. You can’t dwell on shit that’s out of your control, right? So I did that, accepted it.”

The good news is that, having accepted the fight, Alan Jouban has come around and is now fairly excited about fighting in Germany.

“I’m actually pretty excited about it now, though,” he said. “I am excited. I’ve got some friends in Germany.”

Who do you think comes out on top when the cage door closes on Alan Jouban and Danny Roberts in Hamburg on July 22?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/8/2018.