Jett Grande is finally set to turn pro.
The 23-year-old from Red Deer, Alta. has been considered Canada’s top amateur prospect for quite some time. Grande had his first amateur fight in 2015 and rallied off 15 straight wins. In his most recent fight, he was well on his way to winning, but dislocated his shoulder and lost the fight.
Now, nearly two years after that loss, Grande (15-1 amateur) is set to turn pro as he will face Damon Morosko (3-2 amateur) in lightweight action on Aug. 6 at XFC Young Guns 3 in Grand Rapids, Mich.
For Grande, he’s thrilled to finally make his pro debut.
“It’s great, it’s a long time coming. In my last fight, I dislocated my shoulder and by the time I was ready to fight again, COVID hit,” Grande said to MMA Empire.
“I’m finally back after nearly two years. Thanks to my management team MTK MMA, I’m able to make my pro debut. It’s been a long time coming and I’m excited. At the end of the day, I’m just trying to be as active as possible.”
Grande is also well aware his record now means a lot more than it did as an amateur.
He knows he has to rack up some wins and remain undefeated to get noticed by the UFC, but he isn’t putting any pressure on himself ahead of his professional debut.
“The record matters in the pros now, but I don’t try to put any pressure on myself,” Grande said.
“Of course, you will have some pressure, but at the end of the day it is another fight and I’m not worrying too much about winning, rather doing everything I know I can. If I do what I can, I know I will win. If I go into the fight being not afraid to lose, I tend to do much better.”
Although not many fighters nowadays have 16 amateur fights, Grande knows that will only help him now that he is a professional. He has fought all over the world, so he knows how to manage his weight cut and deal with taking on fighters in their home countries.
Despite the fact Grande has seen many fighters younger than him or his age make it to the UFC, the Canadian wouldn’t have changed his path through the amateur ranks one bit.
“To be honest, when I first started, after my first couple amateur fights, I envisioned only having a couple of amateur fights and then going pro and getting to the UFC shortly after,” Grande said.
“As time went on, I realized the amateur fights were so important for me, as I got to fight internationally and just get more experience. I would take the same path again.”
Against Morosko, Grande is confident he will get his hand raised. Although he knows he is known as a wrestler, he says he isn’t afraid to stand and trade with him and show off his striking.
“I have stood and traded quite often in my amateur career. My wrestling is what I am known for, but I can strike with this guy, I can take him down and submit him,” Grande said.
“I’ve been training for a long time, so I’m prepared for wherever this fight takes place. At the end of the day, a win is a win. I have had some good wins as an amateur, but it will be special because it is my pro debut.”
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