Rejuvenated Jesse Ronson Plans to Unleash ‘The Body Snatcher’ at UFN 36
At UFC 165 in Toronto, Jesse Ronson’s dream should have come true.
Stepping into the cage in front of 15,504 people, including friends and family that made the trip from the London area, Ronson did everything he could to prepare properly for his fight with Michel Prazeres. A late notice replacement, he cut 30 pounds in 30 days but still felt good heading into the bout.
“I felt great that whole week,” explained Ronson. “The weigh-in day, I was a little nervous because I was heavy. I was the only guy in the meeting room spitting in the bottle. Jon Jones was looking at me like “who the hell is this guy?” The doctors were asking if I was alright. It was a heavy water cut.”
Ronson began to see Dr. Callum Cowan before his UFC debut to improve his focus and mental strength. For a late notice fight, he knew every advantage would be needed. However, having just been introduced to Cowan shortly before the bout, combined with the nerves of making his UFC debut, Ronson was unfocused heading into the biggest bout of his career.
“I remember the first bit of my game plan was to throw a jab, pullout, jab-cross then double jab,” he explained. “I told myself that I wouldn’t stop doing the same thing until I landed it. I got out there, threw one jab that fell short, and then didn’t follow the plan.”
The fight was a struggle. Prazeres took the Adrenaline trained fighter down almost at will throughout the first two rounds, punishing him from top position and controlling the action. It was a shocking performance for those who had seen Ronson fight before. He had held off many wrestlers who were far more accomplished than Prazeras, but this time seemed unable to defend the sloppiest of takedowns.
“I was thinking about too much,” said Ronson. “You get in there, you have to look that guy in the face and you have to say ‘I’m going to ram my fist through your teeth and shove it down shoulder deep.’ I couldn’t even look at him. I was thinking about affirmations. I was thinking about way too much. I didn’t even start thinking about the fight until Bruce Buffer called my name and then I was like ‘holy s***, I’m in a fight’ and then I looked down at the mat and I was like ‘holy s***, I’m in a UFC fight.’ Everything hit me at once.”
It is the story of so many young fighters. Finally realizing the dream of competing on the sport’s grandest stage, they put on an uncharacteristically poor performance. Almost as if they are fighting in sinking sand, UFC debutants seem slower, tire more quickly, and generally just underperform. It is the adrenaline dump of working towards something for thousands of hours, for achieving the goal you have thought about before bed for so many years.
Of course, making the UFC is only part of the goal. To survive and thrive in the UFC, you need to do more than just show up. You need to win and look impressive in doing so. Having now spent nearly six months with Dr. Cowan and with a full training camp behind him, Ronson insists we’ll see the best version of him we have ever seen.
“Now I understand,” he said confidently. “I have more time to see things through and get accustomed to it. I see him (Dr. Callum) twice a week. Now we’re doing things a little different because he saw how I handled it. I’m a mental monster right now. Some of the stuff I want to say, I don’t want to talk shit towards Trinaldo, but I wouldn’t want to fight me, that’s for sure.”
With the psychology aspect under control and a new diet that has made him stronger than ever, Ronson is set to deliver on his potential. Ontario fans have been clamoring over the young fighter for years, and now he is poised to show the world what the fuss is about.
At UFC Fight Night 36, Ronson will make his second attempt at a first impression when he takes on Francisco Trinaldo. This time, he’ll take his talents to Brazil in an effort to prove he’s better than his UFC debut.
“I like fighting internationally,” said Ronson. “The only time I need to defend the home front is when there is something to defend. I need to show up and prove to the world who I am, so I’d rather fight internationally. I like to travel and I make an excellent bad guy.”
The Brazilian fans will likely not need Ronson to play the bad guy. By entering the country and being of an origin other than Brazilian, he already fits the role perfectly. That being said, he is not afraid to mix it up if need be. Clearly a smooth talker, he’s quick with his words and would not mind having a little fun with the Brazilian fans.
“Obviously they shout out ‘we’re going to kill you’ and ‘you’re going to die,’” said Ronson. “I’ll entice the crowd if I have to, get them into it. That’s what gets viewers. If the UFC doesn’t like it, they’ll say something and I’ll stop. Being the bad guy is easy. You don’t have to do much, people already hate you.”
If Ronson performs as we have seen him perform so many times on the Ontario fight circuit, he may not be the bad guy for long. Brazilian fans appreciate a good scrap and both Ronson and Trinaldo are capable of delivering. If all goes as planned, he will walk away from UFC Fight Night 36 with his first UFC victory and perhaps a few new fans.