Jeremie Holloway is sick and tired of waiting around and he’s ready to fight.
Holloway will return to the cage at Titan FC 55, after a long layoff which has had him on the sidelines since his last win over UFC veteran Junior Assuncao back in November of 2018, taking on Marc Stevens at Titan FC 55, Holloway took the fight on four weeks notice and the usual welterweight competitor is moving down to lightweight for this fight. He believes there will be no issue in preparation or making the weight.
In an interview with The Scrap, Holloway discussed his upcoming fight at Titan FC, training at Fortis MMA with coach Sayif Saud, and how he’s hoping to earn a victory at Titan FC and go straight to the UFC afterwards. While the wait for Holloway to return to action has been long and frustrating, he says he never gets out of camp and that helps him stay prepared for short-notice fights.
“To be honest I would never say I was actually out of camp, it’s gotten to the point where now I’ve been doing this so long, I don’t even think about going to the camps anymore. I know this is my job and of course at the end of the day in this sport you have to stay ready, especially when certain opportunities come along. I haven’t had a fight since November 30 when I KO’d UFC veteran Junior Assuncao.
This fight [against Marc Stevens] actually came on four-weeks notice which is pretty short for me to take a fight at 155, normally because I’ve fought most of my career at 170, but with some good dieting and good nutrition, anything’s possible to stay within that range.”
As he prepares for the short-notice fight against Stevens, Jeremie Holloway says training at Fortis MMA with his teammates has helped in preparation, but he’s more intrigued by how his opponent will respond to fighting at 155 pounds.
“I train with Fortis MMA, it’s one of the best gyms in the world. I’ve been with them since they got off the ground. I’d say I have some of the best teammates in the world, you have some of the guys that have similar look and build. I’ve paid very close attention to his stint early on in the UFC when he was in the TUF house and I’ve been very much up on his film.
For me, I’m kind of more so interested in how his performance is going to be at 155, I’ve seen him fight at 170, his last fight he came in at 172 and to me he kind of gassed in the second round. I wonder how that is going to play in effect for him going back to 155. Other than that, I’m trained for everything that he does, I feel like I’m the better striker, he’s very technical, very crafty, but for me I need guys like him. I need solid wins.”
Training with a gym full of top-notch teammates at Fortis MMA, Holloway says more than the physical training, it’s been the mental training he’s benefited the most from under his teammates and head coach, Saud.
“It’s more about mental perseverance, being mentally tough. For me I feel like I could handle anything physical thrown my way, but mentally I feel myself in situations where I break- coach Saud is a genius. Either you’re going to find out a way to do it or you’re going to find out this is not what you’re made for.
He gives us something that you really can’t get anywhere else and that we have some of the best guys in the world on this mat, there are no easy days. Nobody wins in practice. I think that’s the thing, that’s the key for me, when they ask me about my last fight, I say it was easier than practice. It’s just something different, it’s giving me a different drive.”
As for his coach, one of the rising names in the sport when it comes to head coaches, his style and care for each of his fighters is what has led Holloway to stay where he’s at with Fortis MMA, no longer moving around to other gyms and cross-training.
“Only thing I can say is throughout my years I’ve been cross-training since I’ve got to this sport. I was in St. Louis for a little while, I went down to Georgia, to Florida, I was in South Carolina, this is the longest I’ve been committed to one gym and one coach.
I don’t want it to sound like I have commitment issues, it’s just when I feel like I’m not learning, I’m not being pushed, I’m not being challenged, I’m not progressing, I’m not evolving, then I have to move on. Since I’ve been here [at Fortis MMA] I’m constantly being molded into something and honestly, he [Sayif Saud] is the main reason I’ve stayed. Since I earned the right to train here, he’s totally made me a different person, a better fighter. But I also say he’s made me a better man.”
A veteran of Bellator, LFA, and many other organizations, Holloway believes fighting for Titan FC and getting a win could lead him into the UFC, but he’s not looking to go the way of Contender Series, he wants a straight shot into the promotion, even if it means taking a short-notice fight.
“This fight against Marc Stevens could give me my third victory over a UFC veteran and honestly, I’d like to keep picking them off until Sean [Shelby] or Mick [Maynard] give my manager the go-ahead [signing to the UFC] because I plan on being in the top-10 in the 155 pound division, that’s a guarantee.
I made it very adamant to my manager, I would take a short-notice fight at 170, with the UFC that’s not an opportunity you turn down. One thing I can say about them is that I believe they will honor their word versus I was under contract with Bellator for about a year with three fights that never happened. It’s something I had to learn where to not get caught up on the promotion in which I’m fighting for, it’s still just a fight. I’ll be excited if I win, but I’ll be even more excited when I sign my second contract in the UFC.”
Jeremie Holloway has fought for many promotions, but finally finding a home with Fortis MMA and coach Sayif Saud has helped gain mental strength that pushes him to take a short-notice fight for Titan FC. If victorious against Marc Stevens, Holloway has the confidence he will be in the UFC sooner than later.
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The Scrap’s Mike Pendleton has worked for numerous MMA outlets and has a passion for telling stories within the combat sports industry. Follow him on Twitter (@MP2310) and listen to his On The Mic Podcast on iTunes.