When someone mentions the words “Brazilian Jiu Jitsu” one name comes to mind first and that is Gracie. We here at Artofmma.com have had the privledge of talking with many Gracie Fighters like Anthony Cruz, Jonavin Webb and others and if there is one constant with all of them it is being humble outside of the cage but vicious in the cage. Our featured fighter interview this week is no different and fights out of the Renzo Gracie gym in Pa. He is currently 5-0 as a pro and just won via submission at the last CFFC event, he is none other than Jordan Stiner. Make sure to get over to Twitter and follow him @jstinerfighter because he is set to take over the Featherweight division in a short matter of time!
First off, thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to sit down with us it really means a lot. What got you into the world of Mixed Martial Arts and what drives you to keep going during the tough times like training camps and cutting weight?
Stiner: I got into fighting about 5 years ago. My passion throughout high school was wrestling and I did pretty well, I qualified for the state tournament a couple times and placed 7th in the state as a senior. After high school I decided to wrestle at East Stroudsburg University, which was a Division I EIWA school at the time. I found out quickly that I was burned out from wrestling and I began to party a lot and not really care about school. After 3 and a half years of the wrestling charade I decided to drop out and move with my brother to Montgomery County Pennsylvania. I started working a third shift job at a factory and had noticed the success in the fight game of my old college roommate/teammate Matt Riddle. At that point I was drawn into the fight game and knew I could succeed if I found the right place to train. The Renzo Gracie PA gym was around the corner from my job so I just walked in one day and started training. What keeps me going during the tough times is my love of fighting and the realization that if I fail then I might be back to working a dead end 3rd shift job in some factory somewhere. Ultimately I love the competition and the exhilaration I get from fighting.
That is awesome! Must be nice to have it right around the corner haha.Now you are not the first student of the legendary Renzo Gracie that we have had the privilege to interview. Can you talk to us about what made you choose to be a Gracie fighter, what makes the PA gym so special and who are some of the people we should know about the Pa gym that maybe we haven’t heard of yet?
Stiner: I chose to be a Renzo Gracie fighter because I am a devout follower and believer in the Renzo Gracie way of fighting. Along with this comes honor, respect, and loyalty to our team. We are truly a family. When I first joined Renzo Gracie PA with aspirations of fighting I was given the Renzo Gracie “Legacy” DVD to watch. After viewing this documentary I was immediately hooked to the Renzo Gracie style of fighting and his philosophy on fighting. What makes the PA gym special to me is simple, it was where I learned everything I know about fighting and respect. Something interesting about our location is that outside of the original NYC location, we are the longest tenured Renzo Gracie affiliate school in the world.
That is a pretty amazing documentary and we think everyone should take the time to watch it! That is crazy about the location being the 2nd longest tenured in the world as well! You are currently sitting at 5-0 as a pro and you were 6-1 as an amateur including holding the Helster MMA Fight League Welterweight title, can you talk to us about what you think has led to all this success and what is your overall goal in regards to your MMA career?
Stiner: I think the biggest thing that has lead to my success is the philosophy of not getting too high or too low during your fight career. If you truly love fighting and the artistry which comes with it, you should by all means have some humbleness. Being humble, working hard, and trying to improve yourself everyday is what has gotten me to this point and is what will get me to the next level of fighting.
Very impressive answer and we see that humbleness out of a lot of Renzo Gracie guys. Now I was lucky enough to witness the BJJ and just overall clinic you put on at CFFC 26 last weekend, as a Gracie fighter many get the label of being only a submission fighter but you hold 3 very impressive KO/TKO wins, what kind of fighter do you see yourself as and what makes you in your eyes a fighter to watch?
Stiner: Let me start off by saying I love jiu-jitsu. Jiu-jitsu is my passion and it is what I enjoy doing most when I am just training and having fun. I do, however, realize the importance of being well versed in as many fighting styles as you can be. A fight is much different than a jiu-jitsu match, and therefore you must train in every possible situation you may be in during a fight. When I am fighting I am confident that I can finish the fight where ever it may end up; standing, top, or bottom. I feel I have the ability to finish from anywhere, and will only become stronger with my finishes as my career continues. I view myself as a fighter who likes to break the will of my opponent and looks to finish them in any fashion I see fit. I think I am a fighter to watch because I love to fight and I look to finish fights.
I love that line about you breaking the will and finishing how you want to and that seemed to be on display in Atlantic City. Speaking of that fight can you talk to us about your plan coming in vs a pretty tough and undefeated guy in Ooton. When was the moment you knew the RNC was there and what type of emotions go through you when you know you have the win like that?
Stiner: My plan coming in was just to fight and wherever the fight ended up I would be controlling it. I knew he was a very good wrestler, but wrestling in the cage is very different then wrestling on a mat. I knew he was tough but I was supremely confident in my training and all the work I put in at Renzo Gracie PA and at Daniel Gracie’s gym in Philly. I believe I have the best trainers and toughest training partners around and as long as I put in the work in the gym, the fight will take care of itself.
Now as soon as you put that choke in your fan base who surrounded me exploded! You have a bunch of great fans, can you tell us what they mean to you and if you could tell them one thing what would it be?
Stiner: Ah man my fans mean the world to me. Without all of them I would not be where I am at now. The fact that they all come out and show support like that, I really do appreciate it. One thing I would like to tell them is I love them all and will continue to fight hard for them.
That is awesome! Who are some of your favorite fighters to watch (top 3) and who is one person that maybe people don’t know that we should keep our eye on.
Stiner: I like watching Gegard Mousasi, Cub Swanson, and Anthony Pettis. I think they are all great well-rounded fighters who inspire me. I think people should keep an eye out for one my training partners Waylon Lowe. He is fighting in the WSOF coming up and has a string of consecutive knockout victories. He is undefeated since dropping to featherweight and has some UFC experience. He is very tough and talented.
Well I guess I will be contacting Waylon Lowe asap. It’s time for that age old Fight Club Question, if you could stand across the cage from anyone from any time period, no weight classes who would it be and why?
Stiner: Honestly, I would love to stand across from Jose Aldo just so I can see what it takes to be world champion in my weight class.
Nice call and now that he seems to be back to his old ways he could still be the champ when you get to that level. Going outside the world of MMA, you have tweeted about loving to watch corny movies when you wake up, what are some of your favorite movies and other hobbies?
Stiner: Yes I do love my cheesy action movies! Bloodsport, Best of the Best, Lionheart, Roadhouse, and Blade are some of my favorite ones. I also love gangster movies like Goodfellas, Casino, and The Departed. I enjoy playing Fifa on Xbox, hanging out with my beautiful girlfriend Amber, and wrestling around with our two dogs.
Absolutely nothing cheesy about Bloodsport, perhaps the greatest movie ever! Going back to MMA, you have been in the CFFC for a little while now, what made you choose to go with that fight promotion and what are your impressions? We hear great things about Devon and Rob Haydak, what can you tell us?
Stiner: I chose to fight for them because of the professional atmosphere they displayed and how they take care of the fighters. Also, they provide great competition with some of the best fighters in the region. Devon and Rob do a great job being fair and consistent with us fighters.
If you could give someone who is thinking about getting into the world of MMA one piece of advice what would it be and why?
Stiner: Be prepared to work hard and take your bad days in stride. You can not dwell on a training session where you had your butt handed to you. You need to wake up the next day and get back to work. Everyone has bad training days, especially when you first start training, and you need to have a short memory and get back to work. Otherwise, you will have a short career.
Very well put! Before we let you go are there any people or sponsors you would like to mention?
Stiner: Yes, I would like to thank Vinny’s Pizzarama 1 and 2 in Hatfield, Smaltz Harley Davidson, Total Body Fitness, The Csaszar Institute, Bergey’s Chevrolet, Allenbach Advertising, Grindstone Fitness w/ Greg Hoak, and the chiropractic care of Scott Walker.
There you have it fight fans, one of the fastest rising Renzo Gracie Fighters in the game, so make sure to get over to Twitter and follow him @jstinerfighter because he is going to be something really special very soon!