Joe Solecki is a perfect 3-0 since signing to the UFC, besting veteran Jim Miller in his last outing. Even with the success, the 27-year-old expects to display the most well-rounded and best version of himself to date against Jared Gordon.
In this exclusive conversation with the UFC lightweight, Solecki describes the confidence gained from his win over Miller in April. He also delves into the matchup with Gordon on Oct. 2 as well as why he believes he’ll be a more well-rounded fighter the next time he steps foot inside the octagon.
North Carolina’s Solecki earned his UFC contract on the Contender Series after scoring an opening-round submission (guillotine). He followed that up with back-to-back victories over Matt Wiman and Austin Hubbard, earning him a matchup with Miller. Impressively, Solecki bounced back to win via decision after dropping the first round to his experienced opposition.
Joe Solecki Interview
“It was a tough fight and a grind,” Solecki began, “That was one where we knew the guy standing in front of me wasn’t going away. Yeah, it was a confidence boost in a way cause I didn’t have a walk in the park that fight. I lost the first round. Had to come out, win the second, and then it was one-one going into the third.”
“My corner was honest and I’m pretty honest with myself too,” he said, “So it was nice knowing I had to go out there and get it done that final round. Yeah, it was a nice experience overall getting to share the cage with him and of course getting the win, that always huge.”
Jared Gordon Matchup
“He’s a super tough opponent,” Solecki affirmed. “I’ve been watching Jared since I made my pro debut. So I have a ton of respect for him, like the Miller fight. A little different cause I’ve been watching him since I was a kid and Gordon I’ve watched coming up through the ranks. I like watching him fight. He’s a really tough dude, all of his fights are tough.”
He’s been finished a couple times, but you have to look at who that was against,” he replied, “One of them was against the current champion of the world. I’ll take away from it what I can and look for holes, but he’s a very well-rounded fighter. We have to come in ready to win every single department”
Prideful of Being Well-Rounded
Since making his pro debut in 2016, Solecki has slowly been building his reputation of being a well-rounded mixed martial artist. He’s the proud owner of a BJJ black belt and he’s proven to have crisp hands in addition to his grappling prowess.
Solecki has put in hours of work at facilities such as Salty Dog Jiu-Jitsu, Gym-O, Glory Martial Arts Center, and Fitness Edge Gym.
“I just try to see if I can beat myself from last fight every camp,” Solecki stated. “My whole goal is to come back a totally different and improved fighter, father, husband, man, everything, every single fight. The whole mission is to just show it on fight night. But I do believe the work that I’ve done between fights will make me a more well-rounded fighter than the versions you’ve seen in the past.”
“And that’s really all I try to compare myself to,” he confirmed. “It’s gotta be just a competition with myself. Can I be the better version of me going out there? If I do that then there’s no excuse not to get the win.”
Joe Solecki Treating Every Fight Like It’s His Last
With a victory over Gordon, it’s not difficult to imagine Solecki taking on a ranked opponent in his next outing. However, the lightweight simply doesn’t think in those terms.
“It’s a really stacked division so I really don’t think about it much,” he claimed. “I have a goal to be the best in the world one day. But that goal has to be put on the back burner because it’s one fight at a time. The only time I ever got away from that was when I was gonna fight for the CFFC title if I won the fight in front of me and I didn’t win that fight.”
“That was the most valuable lesson I ever got. Now, I go into every fight like it’s the last fight I’m ever gonna have. If I don’t get past Jared Gordon, nothing happens, but if I do it means good things for my family. So I’m entirely focused on him.”
Make sure to watch Joe Solecki take on Jared Gordon on Oct. 2 in what’s almost guaranteed to be a high-paced contest.
If you enjoyed this interview, check back for more exclusive conversations with the world’s greatest mixed martial artists.