In search of 11 straight victories and yet another championship belt, Calgary’s Jesse Arnett will step into the cage at TKO 41 in Montreal on December 8, in a rematch with Dimitri Waardenburg.
In their first meeting at Hard Knocks 46, Arnett (13-4) made quick work of Waardenburg (13-7), submitting him just 1:29 into the first round. But he says he expects to see a much improved version of Waardenburg the second time around, and won’t make the mistake of underestimating him.
“I’m probably not going to finish him in 1:29 again, but if I did, it wouldn’t surprise me either,” said Arnett in an interview. “I’ll expect a better version of Dimitri Waardenburg 100 per cent.”
Despite the much-improved version he’s expecting of his opponent, Arnett said he’s in the best shape of his life and continues to improve in all facets of MMA.
He believes he has the edge in experience going into the rematch, having fought four tough opponents since their first meeting, plus a difficult professional boxing match. He said even since his last fight on September 9, he feels he’s improved on so much.
“Even from the Johnny Bedford fight, I have cleaned everything up. I’m not showing my kicks, and I’m moving off my jab more. It’s going to be tough for him,” said Arnett. “Everything’s pointing towards a knockout here.”
Since the first contest with Waardenburg, Arnett’s notched impressive wins over Bedford (23-13-1), Maged Hammo (8-4-1), Mike Hernandez (10-2), and Darrick Minner (15-4), plus a professional boxing victory over an experienced opponent.
Arnett’s Work at Dunamis Paying Off
Arnett’s been putting in most of his training camp at his new gym, Dunamis Martial Arts, with his coach Jake Peacock, who says Arnett might be the best he’s ever been.
“He’s looking very sharp, very refined, and has a few new tricks in the bag,” said Peacock. “He’s really using certain skills that he has to their fullest now.”
Peacock said one of their main focuses heading into this matchup is refining Arnett’s head movement to enable them to take better advantage of missed or sloppy punches. They feel if they can keep the fight standing, they’ll be able to pick apart Waardenburg’s “one-dimensional” style.
“All the work and preparation is done, and it’s all mental now,” said Peacock. “He needs to go in there and feel like he’s unbeatable, and if he does that, we can guarantee he’ll beat Dimitri Waardenburg.”
— Jesse Arnett (@bigcatsreal) December 5, 2017
If Arnett does go on to defeat Waardenburg on December 8, he must return to the TKO cage to defend the belt, as the contract he signed was a minimum two-fight deal.
Although he said he isn’t looking past Waardenburg, the future is looking bright for the 33-year-old, with multiple organizations calling his name.
“I cannot look past Dimitri Waardenburg,” said Arnett. “He’s got nothing to lose here. He’s already lost to me in a minute and a half, so if he gets to 1:40 or 2:00, he already looks good.”