Heavyweight prospect Jared Vanderaa (9-3) is on the cusp of big things ahead of his fight at Legacy Fighting Alliance 74 later this month. Fighting out of Team Quest, the 27-year-old measures in at 6’4 and 260lbs, justifying his “The Mountain” moniker.
A run of great form has saw Vanderaa successfully travel across the world to compete in EFC, the largest MMA promotion in Africa. During his past 3 fights with the promotion, he captured their heavyweight title and defended it in emphatic fashion.
Vanderaa now returns to LFA where once challenged for the title. He faces off against Brazilian giant Renan “Problema” Ferreira (5-2) in a highly anticipated main event taking place at Riverside Municipal Auditorium in California on Aug 30th.
Ready to Fight
A true fighter, Jared Vanderaa simply just wants to fight. He told The Scrap, “I just like to punch and kick people.” For guys likes Vanderaa the road to the octagon is the toughest, with the politics often getting in the way of him doing what he does best.
“When you get all these guys talking about how Billy bad ass they are, it gets quite annoying when you hear them saying no-one wants to fight me. Then they offer them me and all you hear is crickets.”
The constant struggle to find opponents and the disappointment when they frequently drop out leaves “The Mountain” admittedly in a bad place mentally. He highlighted one such instance prior to his fight against Vernon Lewis. “I had 7 or 8 guys pull out,” said Vanderaa. “I started drinking, I was very depressed.”
Even more frustrating for Vanderaa is the offers which do come in. They are often set up for him to lose with little notice and long travel is usually part of the deal. He said, “The only time I get fight offers is on a weeks’ notice or two weeks’ notice to travel across the world to take a fight.”
His coaches and management team advise him against it and he reluctantly heed’s their advice despite his nature which unsurprisingly compels him to leap at every opportunity to enter the cage.
Solving the “Problema”
A fight now booked and with just weeks to go until the event Vandeera is content, with camp in full swing and preparation going well for a tough opponent in Renan Ferreira.
Ferreira is the man known as “Problema” standing 6’10. He’s a big problem for whoever he faces. The Brazilian has never seen a third round and has finished all his wins via KO/TKO. A talented fighter, but Vanderaa expects to have too much for his opponent.
“There’s a lot of things I see with him that I can exploit,” he said. “I think I’m vastly more technical that he is, and my tools are much more sharpened”.
Striking, juj itsu, wrestling Justin Vanderaa has a full set of MMA skills that he continues to improve upon on a fight by fight basis. Any of which he can call upon to get this fight done. Vanderaa is determined to solve the “Problema” by getting the finish at LFA 74.
“I have options and I want to exploit one of the three because judges don’t like me. Even if they do, I’m going to keep telling myself they don’t like me and I’m going for the finish.”
Whilst the finish is certain in Vanderaa’s eyes, exactly how it will come is yet to be determined as he weighed up potential scenarios for his forthcoming fight. “Realistically I’ll probably TKO him,” said Vanderaa. However, should the chance present itself, don’t be surprised if “The Mountain” pulls off a Peruvian neck tie. “That’s been my submission move love affair I’ve been having lately.”
Ready for Brighter Lights
A win against Ferreira will make it four in a row against good opposition in respected organizations for Vanderaa, who expects to be fielding calls from the UFC come September 1st. “I’m hoping after this fight the UFC comes knocking on my door. I definitely think I’m ready for the big show.”
Although focused upon the dangerous task that lays in front of him, Vanderaa looked forward with anticipation of what’s to come with the step into the UFC. The prospect of facing off against heavyweights in the UFC filled Vanderaa with excitement as he reeled off a list of names he’d relish fighting. Tia Tuivasa, Curtis Blaydes, Francis Ngannou, Andre Arlovski and Greg Hardy all made the list. But he seems to want one particular UFC fighter more than the rest.
“Allen Crowder, I don’t like the fact he’s in the UFC. He’s the guy who technically beat Greg Hardy flopping around and Hardy threw a knee,” said Vanderaa. “Then he goes and gets knock out in 7 seconds in his next fight. I’m like hows this guy in the UFC?”
The fight with Crowder is something Vanderaa would more than happily take and he’s confident he’ll win and end Crowder’s undeserving UFC run.
“I would beat him if the UFC calls me up to take him on and get him kicked out the UFC, I’ll do it. I don’t like the guy as a fighter.”
The small matter of a big “Problema” in Renan Ferriera is in the way of Jared Vanderaa and his UFC dream. “The Mountain” heads into his LFA main event in great form and full of confidence as he stands on the precipice of shedding the prospect tag and becoming a undeniable heavyweight contender.
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The Scrap’s Jordan Ellis of Liverpool, UK is a lifelong fight fan and aspiring writer. Covering all things MMA and Boxing, you can follow him on Twitter (@JordanEllisUK) for daily fight news and content.