Article by Mick Hammond
Through a circumstance of timing, the 2020 novel coronavirus lockdown did not affect PFL light-heavyweight Jordan Young as badly as it might have had others.
Having entered 2020 sidelined by injury, Young spent the year getting healthy and ready to make his PFL debut in 2021.
“My last fight was in December of 2019, and I had a surgery after that, so I used 2020 as a time to finish my rehab, get my body stronger and prepared for 2021,” Young told MMAWeekly.com. “(The PFL) let us know pretty early in the year that they were going to cancel the season, so I knew all my efforts in training were for the next year, not 2020.”
Being able to rehab and work on his game in 2020 has Young feeling like he will be a superior version of himself from the last time he fought in 2019.
“It was good to have that preparation and that time to heal the body,” said Young. “Much of the time was beneficial, but I’m sure we would have all preferred to be fighting. I’ve made a lot of improvements and my game is much more polished in 2021 compared to 2019.”
On April 29 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Young (11-1) will step into the cage for the first time in 16 months when he faces off against Smealinho Rama (11-5-1) in a main card 205-pound bout at 2021 PFL 2.
“He’s a former world champion, won a title at a young age, and as of late he hasn’t been best (path), but he’s still a tough fighter. I’ve got to make sure I’m ready for a tough fight,” Young said of Rama.
For Young, getting a chance to fight in the PFL’s season format is a big advantage. And while he has his mind set towards a championship, his focus is on progressing through the season one segment at a time.
“In MMA usually you’re looking for your next opportunity or you don’t know what’s next,” said Young. “With the PFL format makes it easy to kind of let go, be in the moment, and take it as it comes. They’re handling all the details, so all I have to do is show up, make weight, and fight.
“You can have ambitions for what you want to do and goals, but you have to be in the moment. Even though I am prepared mentally for two fights in one night, a championship fight, but I’ve broken it down into two playoff fights, and then two fights in one night, and then the championship fight, so it’s like three separate tournaments to me.”
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