Here at ArtofMMA.com we pride ourselves on bringing you not only big name fighters but introducing you to the up and comers in the sport. This week we are dedicating fiver days of interviews to the Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) as they prepare to put forth their biggest card to date, CFFC 24 on May 11th from the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. The Fighter Relations and Public Relations Dept of the CFFC (Devon Mathiesen and James O’Hagan) have been nice enough to let us interview basically the entire card of fighters and let you get a up close and personal look at these amazing fighter who are on the cusp of being Bellator and/or UFC superstars!
Next up in our look at the CFFC 24 card is 2-0 Jonavin Webb (@jonavinwebb). He will face off vs 0-1 Steven Wampler. Jonavin is a seasoned CFFC fighter and has been with the promotion since turning pro in 2012. As an amateur he held the New Breed Fighters Welterweight title and finished with a perfect 5-0 record. So take a minute to get this young fighter (24) who could be on the brink of greatness.
Hey Jonavin thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit down with us. How have things been going and can you take a minute to tell us what got you into the sport of MMA?
Webb: Thank a lot for having me man. I was a wrestler through high school, I was regional champ and yeah was pretty good. My senior year I started getting in the BJJ and I competed at the Pan Am’s and did pretty well. I never thought I would get into full out MMA but I got asked to fight on short notice, 2 weeks (vs Michael Lastner in NBF) next thing I know I land the arm bar victory and I was hooked from there.
That’s awesome and yeah being a competitor and winning early on like that can kinda change you mind about not being a fighter hahah. Now you are coming off a pretty impressive win over Jason Lee. Can you talk to us about that fight?
Webb: Man that dude was tough, I locked in the Rear Naked Choke in the 2nd but the bell saved him. He was a big local name and had never been finished and man I was close hahah but getting that win was pretty awesome. He is one of those guys that his record doesn’t reflect just how good he is. I am still kinda man I didn’t get that finish, looking back I felt that I was just going through the motions but a win is a win.
I do think going all three was a positive and I am glad I got to do that. I knew I would one day just didn’t think it would be so early in my career but it is no big thing. I was tired during it but I had Ricardo Alameda pushing me and when you have that you don’t stop.
Now you are Renzo Gracie guy and with that comes a reputation of not only being a pretty damn good fighter but you also have one of the biggest names attached in the world to you. Can you talk to us about just what it means to be a Renzo Gracie guy?
Webb: It means a lot to me, every time I am in the cage I want to do my best and not let him of the gym down. I have a great team that really pushes me and when you got guys like Frankie Edgar and Edson Barbosa punching you in the face in practice you do one of two things about it: you keep getting hit or you fight back so that helps me to push myself. Those guys along with the rest are like big brothers to me and with that as the little brother you always look up to and want to be better than your big brother. I know I have a lot of work to do to get there but I have some great mentors. We work really hard and do a ton of drills so we can be the best.
Yeah, I don’t know if a lot of people would want to get punched in the face on a daily basis by those guys haha. Now I have watched a bunch of your fights on YouTube and bro, your fans are crazy! Can you explain just what those people mean to you?
Webb: I come from a big family and our gym has a lot of people in it so I think a lot of them come from that but man they rule! I walk in to the cage and sometimes feel bad for my opponent cause you got to deal with that and me hahaha. I am really lucky to have that support and I love them. I live like 35 minutes from AC so being in the CFFC every fight is like a home game and man I can’t lose there, it’s home.
I hear ya there! Now you are part of perhaps the biggest CFFC card to date and there is a lot of buzz around this card. You got paired up vs Wampler who is a pretty though guy. What do you think about this card and this fight?
Webb: I am very excited to be part of this card and can’t wait to get back in the cage. I actually got a little banged up in the last fight and it was my first real injury but I am ready to go. Everything is great and ready to perform at 100%. I am so excited to be apart of this stacked card. The thing I am most excited about is the main event. I know I’m going to be fighting forr the title very soon if things keep going well. I would be honored to step in the cage with either one of those warriors in Sullivan or Becker.
Steven is a tough dude and I am don’t taking this fight lightly and not underestimating him because he is 0-1, he had a pretty impressive amateur record and we and my coaches are ready to go! Once that door closes it’s just me and him and it’s on! I feel I am a superior grappler and I have been working on a lot with my coaches in terms of what he does and doesn’t go. I am really pumped for this fight and can’t wait till the 11th.
Now you have been part of 3 different promotions and a champion in the XFE, what has it been like switching between promotions and going from the top (New Breed Fighters Champion) to back grinding way to title shot?
Webb: Man the XFC was great and they really took care of me. I enjoyed my time there and in New Breed but the CFFC is where it is at right now. I knew I would be a great fit there because they are trying to become the fastest rising promotions, there are a lot of eyes on it right now. This stacked card along with the hype it’s getting it will help to get some more eyes on me and help me get to the next level.
As for going from being a champ to back in the grind, I never really saw myself at the top to be honest. I never hold my belts I keep them at the gym. You might think it could seep in the mind early on but it doesn’t that was an amateur title and I am on the next level now and ready to be on top there too.
Awesome man, it sounds like you got your head in the right spot. Now it’s time for the Fight Club question we ask everyone. If you could stand across the cage from anyone who would it be and why?
Webb: I would want a top guy to be honest to test myself. There are a couple reasons I would pick Benson Henderson, the most glaring because he has beaten my teammates, I would want some revenge for those losses.
I had a feeling you may say that. You Renzo Gracie guys are like a family and I am sure watching that was tough. You keep doing what your doing you may be there soon and get that chance. Last question and I know your time is limited, what advise would you give to someone thinking of getting into the world of MMA?
Webb: Get a base in BJJ or wrestling or something then try to compete in grappling or boxing first. It is so important to have a strong base in this game and to be successful.
Quick and to the point I like that. Before we let you go are there any people or sponsors you would like to mention?
Webb: I would like to give a shout out to Gameness, JBM Flex Gym and Brian McPherson, Ignite Performance Training, Divin Horse Gentlemen’s Club, OnFire Management, Dottavio Produce and last but not least my training partners and Renzo Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Thanks for having me guys.
Absolutely man and best of luck on Saturday. We look forward to the fight and talking to you again.