“I’m not a kickboxer anymore. I’ve become well rounded.”
Interview by: Lance Edwards
John Haydon’s record may be 1-3, but anyone stepping in the cage with him would be foolish to think they are going to have an easy fight. Haydon steps back in the cage this Friday at Cage Combat 7 with a new found confidence and a reason to win. We caught up with John and spoke about his training and recent tragic events.
Haydon: It’s going good in terms of the training. I don’t know if you’ve heard about my team mate Shawn Blanding?
TCD: I did, a really tragic loss.
Haydon: He was only sixteen, and one of the best training partners a guy could have. He was an incredible kid. It’s a huge loss to Kingwood MMA and to the Houston MMA community. He had a lot of potential. I’ve never been hit by anyone as hard as he hit me. We’re shaken by it at Kingwood MMA, it’s a big loss for everyone. I’m still going to fight, and it’s driven me on to fight in Shawn’s memory. I feel confident, I feel better than my previous fights. Before I was in shape physically, but I wasn’t prepared mentally.
TCD: What’s different that you feel more mentally prepared?
Haydon: In the past I didn’t know how to control my nervous energy. I’d go in to fight, but part of me would be somewhere else. It was like I was in a dream or something. In my last fight I was more focused on not losing more than winning. This time I’m going in to win, and I’m going to dedicate it to Shawn.
Haydon: Well, all aspects really, but in the past I used to work my takedown defense. I’ve been working a lot on my jiu-jitsu and really improved in that area, now I’m confident if it goes to the ground. I’m not a kickboxer anymore. I’m an MMA fighter. I’ve become well rounded.
TCD: When you aren’t competing what do you do?
Haydon: I’m actually working at Kingwood MMA now. I do the kids and womens classes and help with another class. Coach Tom has really helped me get on track with my focusing on MMA. Because of the opportunity he has given me I feel I can really focus on MMA now and get where I want to be. Outside of MMA, I’ve been sober for a year now and I’m involved with recovery events and helping other people get off drink and drugs and stay clean. So they are my two main interests, MMA and recovery. The rest of my time is spent with my girlfriend and daughter. They are the main joys in my life.
Haydon: I don’t really have any predictions. I’ve seen one tape of Mario and he was going for a lot of takedowns and working his ground and pound. I think it will be a fast paced fight ending in a TKO or submission in the first or second round.
TCD: Anyone you’d like to thank?
Haydon: Coach Tom, John Marlborough for all the time in the gym; all my training partners. My girlfriend for her support and all the belief she has in me. Shawn for everything he has done for me, and I’d like to dedicate this fight to him.