Justin Jaynes had been fighting professionally since 2013. But, he has been doing unsanctioned amateur fights in Michigan since 2007 and finally got the call to the UFC last weekend.
At UFC on ESPN 11, Jaynes replaced Matt Frevola to fight Frank Camacho in a lightweight scrap. For the 30-year-old, to finally get the UFC call was a massive relief. But, he admits seeing people he beat on the regional scene getting chances on the Contender Series or shots in the UFC was frustrating.
“I wish there was a different word besides frustrating. It was like demoralizing. Those guys are super tough and really you just have to be in the right place at the right time,” Jaynes said to BJPENN.com. “The process worked out and I wrote my story as it was supposed to be written. Getting the call 13 years after starting was a dream come true.”
Not only was getting the call a dream come true, but Jaynes capitalized on his moment. He blitzed Camacho off the start and scored a 41-second knockout win.
“It was the game plan to blitz him. I’m moving up in the UFC and Frank is a longtime veteran, he knows how to fight and be the bully,” he explained. “When I stepped in there, I thought he was coming to bully me and put a pace on me. In the back, I said I was going to double jab and into a right hand at 120 percent power and show this is my show.”
The win also netted him a Performance of the Night bonus, which he says is life-changing money for him.
“I don’t understand it really. You have to understand, the most money I’ve made in a year is like $25,000 or $30,000,” Justin Jaynes said. “To get a bonus and get a lump sum of $50,000 is life-changing. I have zero interest in blowing it. I’m taking that money and putting it away from my son’s college.”
Now following the win, Jaynes is already talking to his manager about what is next.
In his career, Jaynes has been someone to fight across numerous weight classes. He has fought at featherweight and as high as middleweight. Yet, he says his best weight class is probably 155-pounds. Yet, he says now that he can have a nutritionist and the PI to work with a drop to featherweight is in the cards.
“It’s a 75 percent chance it is at lightweight and a 25 percent chance it is at featherweight. 170 is for short notice only,” he said. “I think 155 is my home but after talking to my managers, maybe 145 will be my new home.”
His manager, Jason House wants him to try and make a move to featherweight. If he does that, he would like to fight Alex Caceres. If he stays at 155, Jaynes already has names in mind.
“I have some names. Drakkar Klose and I have some history because we wrestled against each other in the state finals and he beat me by a stalling point. It was a close match. Ideally, I want to fight him down the road,” Jaynes explained. “I’d just like to get some more experience and some more hype and momentum to build the fight even more. Right now, Austin Hubbard, coming off a big win over my teammate and friend in Max, and that was a big win for him. I’d love to avenge his loss. Like, let’s go motherf****r.
“If I go down to 145, which is in the cards, I want to fight Bruce Leeroy. I want to fight Alex Caceres. It’s funny, five years ago, I was being a dumb kid and talked s**t to him on Twitter and he actually answered saying get here big dog and you may get shot. Well, guess what, I’m here now and I’m here to stay,” he said. “I’d like to fight Alex at 145, it would be a great featherweight debut.”
After a UFC debut like that, Justin Jaynes is ready to turn it around quickly and keep his momentum going.
Would you be interested in seeing Justin Jaynes vs. Alex Caceres?