Interview: Jordan Clissold

“There are many ways that you can lose in MMA, but you will not beat me by me giving up.”

(photo courtesy: IXFA)

Jordan Clissold

Written By: Eric Hostetter

How can you measure heart? The only way that comes to mind is that you test it time and time again. Meet Jordan Clissold of Urban Jungle. He is one of those guys whose heart is the size of the state of Texas. Who knows, it could be bigger than that.

I caught up with Jordan to chat with him before he faces a “familiar” opponent, Larry Crowe of Silverback Fight Club. I wanted to see whats been going on with him while he has been training in the Jungle that is Urban. Everyone has their beginnings somewhere in MMA, where and how did you get into this sport?

Jordan Clissold: Well it’s a bit of a funny story. My friends Paul and Reed heard that I turned pro in boxing. Well they had just started a promotion called Primal MMA, and they asked me to be in their first show. So of course I said yes, not really having any real idea on what to expect. Just really got thrown into the fire, but I won at that show by knock out. I went on to fight at their second show, but lost by submission, but this all happened by chance really with a friend asking me to fight on his card. At least you had one heck of a way to win your first fight with a knockout. One thing that I have noticed in your fighting style Jordan is that you just don’t have any ounce of quit in you. Do you have any kind of military background at all?

Jordan: Well I appreciate you noticing that in the way that I fight, but I do not have a military background, but my whole entire family has served.

I guess the motor that I have comes from me playing a little bit of college football [at Harding]. I just have that itch and desire to do mixed martial arts, and I believe having internal drive like that to keep on pushing hard is a big piece in doing what it takes to be successful in this sport. That is my real motivation now that propels my MMA career. Harding has a football team?! What position did you play?

Jordan: I played defensive end and outside linebacker. : I am still in shock that Harding has a football team. The things you learn each day, wow.

Let me get back on topic. What would you say is the highest goal that you want to achieve as a fighter?

Jordan: I would say that my highest goals are to of course reach UFC or Strikeforce. Honestly though, I do not look past any fight. I know that is kind of a generic answer to give. I really don’t look past any fight at all, and I am honored to be in the IXFA and competing. It really is a blessing. Is there a person(s) out there that you draw inspiration from to do what you do?

Jordan: There most certainly is and I really shouldn’t even be mentioning his name and my name in the same sentence. Rickson Gracie is someone that I think is just an incredible fighter.  He has meant a lot to this sport and the outlook that he has on it.  I love his spirit and if I could try to emulate anyone, it would be him. I like it. If you had one word to describe your game, what would it be?

Jordan: My fighting name is “Iron Soul”. I kinda dubbed myself that because I do not have any quit in me at all. So if I could describe myself in one word it would be heart. There are many ways that you can lose in MMA, but you will not beat me by me giving up. Can you tell us a little bit of your thoughts on facing Larry Crowe this Saturday? I hear that there is a bit of history between you two.

Jordan: [Laughs] There is a little of history dating back all the way in high school. He and I went to rival high schools.  He went to Cypress Springs and I went to Langham Creek.  We kind of had a stupid, teenage testosterone filled fight between his high school and my high school. Amazingly neither of us fought each other back then, so I guess we have been saving it all up for the fight on Saturday inside the IXFA cage. As my brother dubbed this fight on Facebook, this is the “Cy-Fair Super Fight”. How has your training camp been going leading up to this fight?

Jordan: Well before my last fight, I just barely started to train at Urban Jungle. So going into this one, this is my first real full camp with them. Getting to train with professor Torres-Aponte has been absolutely great for me, he is an unbelievable teacher. Mentally I feel fully prepared, this camp has been awesome. My sparring partners have been outstanding. I just feel like I am ready for this. Any kind of pre fight jitters at all? I mean this has been brewing since high school and it is all coming to a head soon.

Jordan: This is going to be my fourth MMA fight. I usually have a lot of jitters and nervousness going into a fight. It is not necessarily because of the opponent, it is more because of the actual event. This go around though, I feel 100% clear minded, fully prepared I am not looking at Larry as an individual, just as an obstacle. I am not bringing any kind of past resentment in the cage. I have a mission that I am going to accomplish. He is the traffic cone that I need to get around. If you are able to receive honors on a card that you fought on, would you rather have Fight of the Night or Submission of the Night?

Jordan: I would personally like to have Fight of the Night because that would mean that both of us combatants gave it a 100% effort for all of the rounds. I enjoy that kind of fight, the grueling kind, because you learn not only a lot about yourself, but also a lot about your opponent. The respect level for both of us as a whole just goes up. You already get respect by just stepping into the cage with another human being, it’s even more respect to endure pain and to go through a whole match. I think that is what really draws me to this sport. Ok, Fight of the Night or Knockout of the Night? Same premise as before.

Jordan: Once again I am going to have to go with Fight of the Night. Really? You are the first fighter that I have interviewed that has taken their first choice twice.

Jordan: Don’t get me wrong, any of these honors would be great. Submission honors would be awesome. Getting a knockout is kind of lackluster, but remember the fight between Vitor and Anderson Silva. To me, Vitor is one of the greatest fighters ever. Yeah that kick was amazing… yeah it’s great for the fans, but as a fighter you train so hard…. to have it end like so quickly. It’s both good and bad in my opinion. I guess that is why I go with Fight of the Night. I still can’t believe someone chose something over Knockout of the Night. I don’t know where to go from here.

Jordan: The power of an individual answer. Is there anyone that you would like to thank before we go?

Jordan: I’d like to thank everyone affiliated with Urban Jungle, Professor Torres-Aponte, and of course TheCageDoor! You are too kind. Thanks for the interview Jordan. Good luck in your match against Larry Crowe on Saturday.