“Honestly, I just want to get in there and hit somebody.” - Jake Lindsey
While Jake Lindsey’s UFC debut didn’t go as planned, he’s looking at his next fight as his true entry into the UFC.
“I'm honestly not thinking of that last fight right now,” Lindsey, who faces Montreal’s Olivier Aubin-Mercier at Fight Night Halifax this weekend, says.
“It is what it is. It was my first fight in elevation, things happen, first UFC fight, nerves. Honestly, I just want to get in there and hit somebody.”
“The Librarian” will get his chance to hit somebody, and if you’re not in Scotiabank Centre to see it in person, you will be able to catch all the action live on FOX Sports 1.
“I think he and I will have an active first round, but he tends to slow down because he has such a high work rate normally. I don't know if he's ever fought at 155 before, so I see a second round TKO for myself here.”
Lindsey’s confidence is not misplaced. He only has one loss on his record, and prior to that fight against Jon Tuck in his UFC debut, he knocked out his last four opponents.
“My last fight there was a lot of pressure,” he said. “I was constantly worrying about it. This time I know I trained hard, I have the skills to win, and I want to win, but I'm just going to go out there and put on a good fight and perform to my level. I won't be disappointed in a loss if I perform to the best of my abilities. My last fight I didn't perform the right way. As long as I go out there and scrap and get in the guy’s face, I will be good. But I do think I need to keep my job, so that is extra motivation for me to go out there and win.”
Being in the world’s premier mixed martial arts promotion is a paradox. It is at once the best and worst case scenario. Men and women work extremely hard to get here, and it’s even harder to stay. That’s why fighters have unorthodox lives outside of fighting.
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is an adrenaline junkie. Jake Lindsey? Well, he loves to read, hence his nickname “The Librarian,” which not coincidentally, was his last job.
“I'm actually at the library right now,” he said on the phone. “That's just a weird thing. I like reading and I like this environment. I am a nerdy guy and ‘Librarian’ is such a fitting nickname for me. I am not ‘The Assassin’ and some guys kind of overdo their nicknames. It fits me perfectly. There were times working at the library I wanted to fight because of annoying patrons. Don’t be late on returning your book to the MMA guy. But I've always wanted to fight professionally. I have the Cowboy Cerrone mindset of, 'Someone is paying me to go fight somebody, why not?’”
Lindsey, at age 28, has been training MMA long enough to be considered one of the “new breed” type fighters who are native to every discipline of the sport. In tech-speak, there are digital natives and digital converts – converts being older than natives who are web and mobile savvy. In terms of MMA, “new breed” fighters are those who train multiple disciplines from a young age.
“I wouldn't say I'm a new breed of fighter,” Lindsey counters. “But people I train with may say something like that. I feel like my strength is being well-rounded; I've got good cardio, I've got good hands, I have good wrestling. I'm not bad anywhere and I think that, in and of itself, is a strength, but I'm not going to call myself a new breed of fighter because that term is tossed around a lot, and you have a lot of people just doing the same thing. Conor McGregor and Stephen Thomson are bringing new things to the game by adding karate kicks and different styles, but I'm a well-rounded fighter. I'm aggressive. Look at Cowboy; he hasn't changed his fight style in years and he's on a tear right now. He does what he does really well, and that is what makes a complete fighter right now.”
At five-feet-eleven-inches tall, Jake is also tall for the lightweight division. While making weight isn’t too much of a problem, sometimes he works against himself.
“My problem is I get impatient and I come forward constantly and I end up choking my own range out. If I get impatient I try to bully guys and I close the distance for them. But overall my height gives me better submissions, my punches are going to land sooner and I feel like a long lean body style is the body one needs to do mixed martial arts efficiently. You get guys like Chad Mendes who are really short and stocky and they're not going to strike as well as someone with more range. Look at Jon Jones - he fights guys he's not necessarily better than but he's got such a reach advantage that he wins.”
In college, Jake studied nutrition, so naturally I asked him if he was better than most at eating clean. I was surprised to hear his answer, but also refreshed with his honesty.
“I'm like every other typical human being. You can do it well but you can't do it for yourself. I help other people with their diets and they lose crazy weight, but when it comes to myself I am an extreme eater. I have portion control issues and I have eating disorders left and right. It's like money; I can tell you how to save it but I can't save a dollar to save my life. I made changes in this camp from my last camp though. The last fight the UFC called and said you have to fight and I was like 190 and that's just a ridiculous amount of weight to cut in that amount of time. I was eating bad foods. I have that thing like a dog; if he has access to all the food in the bag he will eat it all. I'm all or nothing, I can't go halfway on anything.”