Las Vegas’s David Jordan (7-4) will make his debut on Canadian soil when he travels to Lethbridge, Alta. to take on UFC-vet Shane Campbell (17-8) in the co-main event of Fight Night 11 on Saturday night.
The lightweight championship will be on the line, and for Jordan it’s an opportunity to capture his first title in a country he’s never been to. It’s the type of opportunity he’s been waiting for.
“Man, it’d mean a lot, especially because it’s in a different country, coming out to Canada,” Jordan said in an interview.
“I’ve always wanted to travel and showcase my talent outside of the U.S., so this will be the first time and it’ll be a refreshing experience. It’s something new and exciting, and something that can motivate me going forward.”
Jordan will be staring down a man with five UFC fights and over 20 professional scraps in total, not including his kickboxing days. It’s the type of challenge Jordan welcomes when he steps into the cage.
“I think he’s a tough fighter. Every time he comes out to fight he comes hard, but those are the kind of guys I like to fight,” said Jordan.
“Most of my fights have been knockouts recently, and for me to get a knockout and go out and perform; I like to fight good competition and I know he’ll be tough, so it’ll be fun to put on a show.”
For Campbell, it’s an opportunity to add more hardware to an already impressive resume. In a career that’s spanned across multiple countries and multiple disciplines, Campbell is also the current Unified MMA lightweight champion.
He feels a win on Saturday night could help push him back to the top of the sport where he belongs.
“I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon, Campbell said in an interview.”
“I definitely want to collect as much hardware to put towards my legacy as I can, so this is one step closer. Then, ideally, defending after that and moving my way back up again is what I’m looking for.”
Making it back to the UFC has never been about skill for Campbell; he’s had that in bunches since the day he started.
He said it’s been more about timing and finding the right match-ups.
“Without a doubt I think I could be back there,” Campbell said.
“I took a couple fights that weren’t the smartest really given the time frame I took them in. I really don’t believe it’s skill-wise that I’m not there. It was just a little bit of circumstance and the preparation going into every fight. Also, just making sure to do it when your ready and capable of doing it.”
Campbell, 31, will be taking on a young up-and-comer at Fight Night 11.
The 29-year-old Jordan has finished his last four fights by knockout and will look to keep that streak alive in Lethbridge.
“What I want is a first round stoppage,” Jordan said.
“Usually, if I land what I want to land, most people don’t handle the way I punch, so I feel like I’ll come in first round and get through some exchanges. But when I land what I want to, the fight will be over.”
Jordan prefers to win by knockout, as do most fighters. But that doesn’t mean he won’t be ready for the fight wherever it takes place.
“A lot of people don’t know, but I’ve wrestled for 10 years and was a two-time state champion in high school, and I’m a purple belt in jiu-jitsu. So the ground, I’m good at it,” Jordan said,
“I just don’t find it necessary most of the time I fight. It’s kind of boring; I’ve done it for so long that stand up is more exciting to me and that’s what I like to show in my fights.”
Although Jordan is less experienced than Campbell, he’s still faced his own share of adversity in his career, most of which he admits was the result of his own doing.
Jordan said his biggest improvement since he started fighting has has been his fight IQ.
“I got smarter; even the Eric Spicely fight I was fighting up a weight class. I was walking around at a 170 pounds, took the fight at 170 and he came in at 182. It was just bad decision-making at the beginning, and in terms of fighting I was fighting hard, but I just wasn’t able to set people up,” Jordan said.
“The longer my career has went on the more I understand that it’s not necessarily working harder to set someone up for a knockout, and that’s shown in my last few fights.”
Campbell is prepared for what Jordan brings to the table, and said he’s never felt the need to specifically train for any one fighter.
He said constantly looking to improve himself has been the key throughout his career.
“This fight was no different than how I always prepare. Depending on how my body and my training partners are, I just do what I can when I can, and try to improve on every aspect for every fight camp really, no matter the opponent,” Campbell said.
“I’m training back at the House of Champions and it’s really re-ignited some fire inside me, so I’m looking to unleash more aggression for this fight.”
Jordan travels into hostile territory and Campbell looks to defend the home turf when Fight Night 11 makes its way into Lethbridge’s Enmax Centre on Saturday night.
Don’t blink because this one has the potential to end early.
“He’s on a pretty good hot streak right now; four knockouts in a row, so it’s nothing to bat an eye at,” Campbell said.
“But with the experience comes being more comfortable, and I think that’s going to play a little bit of a role in this fight.”
“I’d like to thank Iridium Sports Agency, Marvin Eastman, John Wood and everyone at Syndicate MMA. Also, shoutout to my family for always supporting me.” Follow Jordan on social media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM