Jesse Bongfeldt is back.
After taking on a full-time job that didn’t allow him sufficient training and recovery time, Bongfeldt, 38, said he’s finally been able to manage his schedule to allow him to train three-four times a day.
“I knew what it took to get up on step, but I just wasn’t able to do it because of scheduling and work,” said Bongfeldt in an interview.
“I feel good; I feel recovered now after my workouts and I’m able to do more of them. I figured I’m in shape, so now’s the time. Let’s make this happen.”
Throughout his career, Bongfeldt, fighting out of Kenora, Ont., has been known for being an explosive fighter right out of the gate, with 13 first-round finishes to his name.
But although Bongfeldt usually brings the fireworks early and often, he said he actually becomes more comfortable as the fight goes on, and said Brakefield is in trouble no matter how long the fight lasts.
“As the fight goes on, my energy level goes up. I don’t usually get tired; I tend to loosen up more and get more energy,” said Bongfeldt.
“The longer the fight goes, the better it is for me.”
Throughout his 30-fight career, Bongfeldt has competed against all styles of mixed martial arts inside the cage.
After doing his homework on Brakefield, Bongfeldt is confident he’s identified the areas he needs to avoid and the areas he should be able to exploit.
“All of his wins are by submission and all of his losses are by TKO, so you can kind of see where his strong and weak points are,” said Bongfeldt.
“There’s a few specific things I need to watch out for, so I’ve been taking notes on that and making sure I address those issues.”
One area Brakefield said Bongfeldt won’t be able to keep up or won’t be able to prepare for is the pace he brings into the cage.
Brakefield, 30, said with his mentality of putting on a pace not even he can keep for three rounds, he doesn’t see any scenario of this fight going the distance.
“I always plan to go out and put on a pace that nobody in the world can keep up for 15 minutes, and hope that I can finish them in that time,” said Brakefield in an interview.
“It’s either kill or be killed every time when I fight.”
When Brakefield was approached by Rumble in the Cage’s Lee Mein with the fight offer, he said he jumped at the opportunity.
He said it was an automatic yes for him to be able to challenge himself against an opponent like Bongfeldt, who has a strong reputation in the MMA community.
“Right away, I wanted that fight against him. He’s got a pretty big name,” said Brakefield.
“As soon as the fight got announced, I had a lot of people message me and talk about how legit of an opponent he is.”
One of the reasons Bongfeldt does have a big name is his two-fight stint in the UFC.
But despite his UFC-veteran status, Brakefield, fighting out of North Delta, B.C., said it’s not something that intimidates him or brings any added pressure.
“A lot of the guys I’ve fought before could’ve fought in the UFC or will fight in the UFC, so I’m not super worried about his UFC tag,” said Brakefield.
“It’s just a place he’s fought. I’m not worried about it.”
“I’d like to thank United Fighter Mixed Martial Arts, Roy Harris Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Bas Rutten Striking Systems, my coaches back home, Cody Puls, Jordan Allen at United Fighter, and Chris Harper on the business side of things.”
“I’d like to thank my coaches, Ken Tran and Nabil Salameh, at Titan MMA.