Jesse Gross – Ghost of a Chance for a Title
Ever taking a fight on short notice and dominating the hometown favorite, big things have been expected of Jesse “The Ghost” Gross. The Wallaceburg, Ontario fighter has not stopped since that pro debut – making a name for himself by violently dismantling every opponent who has been locked inside the cage with him.
Most recently, BJJ black belt Pablo Santos had the misfortune of facing Jesse at WRECK MMA on January 28. After a tough training camp, that was squeezed between his studies at Fanshawe College and two jobs, Jesse put on his mean face, stepped into the cage, and quickly stopped the fight with his usual harsh brand of ground and pound. Jesse moved to 6-0 with the win and “was happy to go in there and get it over pretty quick in easy.”
The Police Foundations student really does have a dark side when he fights. He does not shake hands or touch gloves and his dislike for his opponent is obvious. His aggression and willingness to damage his opposition is clear from the moment Jesse is at weigh-ins. A solid 10-3 amateur, Jesse says his fight personality changed prior to his pro debut. Jesse describes this transformation,
I thought that this is a pro fight. This is where its documented. This is everything that matters now and everything before didn’t mean nothing up until this point. My mentality about fighting changed over from that first fight and I walk out there on pure attitude now. I don’t even touch gloves in training. Maybe its a little cold, but I train how I fight and I take that emotion into the cage every time I go out there. I really fill myself with a lot of anger when I am out there wanting to get the job done.
So far training has been much harder than the actual fighting for Gross, who credits Chris Clements and his Adrenaline Training Centre teammates for his success.
“I walk in there and just get beat up daily. I am an undefeated up and comer and I can’t even defend myself in here. I am getting walked all over. The only days that I have good days are when I walk into the cage and fight for real. Otherwise, I am just bleeding and getting tapped out because the guys at Adrenaline are really really good.”
There is no doubt that London has some great talent and training with guys like Jesse Ronson, Iraj Hadin, Sam Stout, Mark Hominick, and Chris Horodecki can be more of a challenge than facing a guy like Santos who had no MMA fights under his belt. Even though he has beaten tough veterans like Kevin Morin and Rory McDonnel, The Ghost is frustrated by the level of his opposition.
“I wasn’t out there asking to fight a guy (Santos) with no fights. It wasn’t a winning situation for me to beat him up anyway. I beat up a guy with no fights – what does that really prove. Nobody is too impressed with that. I would rather have fought a guy with a good 5-1, 5-0 record … but I am not in a position to turn down any fight…Sherdog lists me as 6-0 and it does not look like I am taking challenging fights if you look at the guys that I have faced. I can feel it already. I am going to take criticism and people are jumping on me for not fighting anybody.”
That criticism is about to stop now. Jesse is about to get what he looking for – a fight with a top Lightweight at WRECK on May 6. In fact, Gross will challenge Canada’s #5 ranked Lightweight and a fighter who is on a seven fight winning streak, Brad Cardinal. The well matched fight between Gross and Cardinal will be for WRECK MMA’s newly minted Lightweight title. A win over Cardinal would put Gross into the Top 10 after only three years of training.
As for Jesse feelings on the Cardinal fight, “Getting a win over Brad would be pretty significant… I’d get another tough fight which would be awesome…. getting a title would be the cherry on top.”
Interested in hearing more about Jesse? Be sure to check out the next episode of the Top MMA News Radio show where Jesse talks about a future that may not include the UFC, the hilarious root of his ‘Ghost’ nickname, and much more.