“…I don’t care what it is, I just want to beat you…”
Written By: Eric Hostetter
To quote Barry’s commentary of Justin’s demeanor while entering the cage during IXFA 5 this past December, “Ledet looks WAY to happy to be fighting. He’s smiling like a crazy person.”
Do not let that Cheshire Cat grin deceive you into thinking that this former collegiate basketball player is elsewhere in his mind while he is inside of the cage. Justin’s probably thinking of all of the bad intentions that he is going to bring to the fight and take pleasure in doing so.
I caught up with Justin to gain a little insight on what makes the TCD.net #3 Light Heavyweight fighter in Houston smile.
Justin Ledet: Well, I really got started to stay in shape. My cousin, who is a year younger than me, wanted to do this since high school while I was playing at Texas A&M-Kingsville. Well to make a long story short, the coach and I got into it a little bit and so I stopped playing basketball. My cousin began to push me into going to a gym and to start fighting with him. I said “OK” and began from there.
TCD: What position were you playing?
Justin: I was a small forward.
TCD: Do you feel that your footwork from playing basketball has helped you inside of the cage?
Justin: Most definitely.
TCD: How long have you been training for?
Justin: Just two years.
TCD: That is pretty amazing that a fighter with only 2 years of training is ranked, by us at TheCageDoor, #3 in the Light Heavyweight Division. What are your thoughts on your Houston area ranking?
Justin: Yeah that is pretty cool. Not trying to sound cocky at all, but I surprise myself sometimes. Even people that know me are surprised to know or find out that I am a fighter. They would have never dreamed that I’d be doing what I am doing, but I am and I am good at it. So I am going to keep doing it
TCD: Well you seem to be enjoying what you are doing. Every time I see you entering in the arena, making your entrance to the cage, and even while you are inside of the cage before the match begins, you are always smiling. Is there a special place that you go to your head as all of this around you is happening and going on?
Justin Ledet: Well I have that smile on my face because I am having fun. I really think this whole competition aspect of this sport is really exciting and fun. Any kind of competition, I don’t care what it is, I just want to beat you. That is the way that I look at fighting.
I am not one of those people that get’s mad. I kinda had a temper when I was a kid, so what I did to contain that temper is smile. People that knew me and saw me start to smile when something was going down. They would know what is going on in my head.
So the smile is a little bit of anxiousness, fun and trying to not let people know what is going on inside my head.
TCD: Where do you see yourself in 1 year as a fighter?
Justin: I do not really know. Hopefully I am still in this sport. I do have some professional boxing matches coming up this summer. I am just trying to stay busy since I am so young. It is hard to stay focused sometimes since I am going to school, I work part-time and training is testing how focused I really can be.
TCD: What would you rather have, Knock Out of the Night or Submission of the Night Honors?
Justin: Knock Out of the Night. I think it does more for the fans to win, or lose, in a convincing/devastating fashion, than to watch someone lay on someone else for three or more rounds. It really means something to me and the fans to see someone put on a great show and win.
TCD: Knock Out of the Night or Fight of the Night?
Justin: Fight of the Night, for the exact same reasons I just said for knock out. I just want to put on a great show.
TCD: Can you tell us a little bit of your thoughts about your match against Lex Pappas?
Justin: I don’t know that much about him, other than that he fought against Ike. It ended kind of quick so it is kind of hard to pull a lot of information from that match about him. I don’t know what his game plan is, and usually is. I do know that he trains with “Macaco”, but the game plan for me is the same. Go out there, have fun, get into a slugfest… you know… the usual.
TCD: Is there anyone out there that you would like to thank?
Justin: I would like to thank the people at Submission Boxing Academy. Thanks to them for bringing me in. They have taken my fighting to a whole new level, I really appreciate it.
Of course, my mom and my family, my cousin that got me started in all of this. And lastly TheCageDoor, for having the interest in interviewing me before my fight, thank you very much.
TCD: Well it was our pleasure in doing this. Good luck in your match Justin.