Interview with Jesse Lennox
On October 6th at GLADIATORS FIGHTING 47 - CAGED COLOSSEUM, Jesse Lennox will step into the ring with Jon “White Trash” Friedland to compete for the Gladiators Fighting welterweight belt. It will be Lennox’s first professional fight in Wisconsin, and there is no lack of pressure to accompany it...
With three titles on the line and over twenty bouts on the card, Saturday is shaping up to be an explosive night of action. We caught up with Jesse between his fight training and day job of being a Cedar Rapids paramedic to ask him a few questions about Saturday, his training methods and his love of buffets.
JL: Jesse Lennox
USCS: Fight Name/Nickname (if you have one)? If so, what’s the story behind it?
JL: Ox - Jesse Lenn"ox"
USCS: Current weight class? Do you have to cut much weight to make weight?
JL: This will be my first fight at 170. I have fought several times at 185 before and never had to worry about weight. I have lost the weight the correct way however and feel very strong at 170.
USCS: Professional record?
USCS: Amateur record?
JL: Coggon, IA, population 12. I have lived in Cedar Rapids IA now for several years, though.
USCS: Where are you currently based? Where do you train?
JL: I’m based in Cedar Rapids and we train at the National Guard armory. There are several small teams here in town, but we all train together also.
USCS: Who is your trainer (if you have one)? Fight team?
JL: Dave Sherzer is the head coach in Cedar Rapids, however, I have learned a lot from my training partners Keoni Koch, Devon Christian, and Tom Grubb.
USCS: In what disciplines do you currently train? Have you trained in any other martial arts? For those who don’t know, tell us a little about your fighting style:
JL: I am primarily a big, dumb wrestler that is cross-training in grappling and striking.
USCS: Without revealing too much of your game plan, tell us if you’re working with any special trainers or focusing on any particular aspect of your training for this fight:
JL: Submission defense. Jon will be one of the best grapplers that I have ever fought. Being the dumb wrestler that I am I would like to stay conscious during the fight.
USCS: Do you research your opponents much? Do you have any thoughts on your opponent?
JL: Jon and I have grappled once or twice before, but I don’t know a whole lot about him. Outside of the ring/cage he is a very cool guy and I respect him very much.
USCS: How do you feel fighting “White Trash” on his home ground? Do you feel like you’re going to have to step up your game?
JL: Every fight I have is the biggest fight that I have ever fought. I have been moving up in competition and he will definitely be a huge test.
USCS: What’s your typical training regimen like? How many days a week do you train?
JL: As many as possible. I don’t let a day go by and not get a workout in. If I take a day off, then Jon has two extra days of training on me, and I can’t let that happen.
USCS: What do you eat before a fight (the night before, the week before)? Do you change your diet much before a fight?
JL: I wouldn’t stand too close to me after I weigh in because I plan on eating everything in sight. I have had to limit my caloric intake quite a bit, so I am ready to attack a buffet and leave no regrets or food on my plate.
USCS: What music do you listen to while you train? Before a fight?
JL: Nothing at the beginning of class, because the beginning is for learning and eliminating mistakes. Then I indulge in some rock and roll - new or old, I don’t discriminate.
USCS: What’s your mindset leading up to a fight? How do you prepare for each fight?
JL: I get very excited for fights, so I have been trying to just hang out and relax.
USCS: Do you have any pre-fight rituals you’d like to talk about?
JL: I have one tradition to get cut or injured before a fight. I don’t think it is very beneficial in the cage, but I guess it has been working for me so far, so who am I to break tradition?
USCS: Do you visualize before a fight? Try to predict/strategize?
JL: Visualize always, but trying to predict a fight is near impossible.
USCS: What keeps you motivated, both during the fight and training?
JL: With some other sports I can see why people would have trouble getting motivated, but in MMA if you slack off you get your ass kicked in front of everyone. That is pretty self-motivating for me.
USCS: None of your fights have gone to decision, correct? Are you prepared to take this fight to (decision)?
JL: I lost one amateur fight by decision and yes, I am prepared to take this fight 5 rounds.
USCS: How long have you been fighting MMA?
JL: Fighting for two years and training for 3.
USCS: What got you into MMA versus pure martial arts?
JL: I wrestled in high school and tried boxing in college. Whenever I boxed, all I wanted to do was take people down and then hit them. So it was a pretty natural transition for me.
USCS: Do you have a job/career outside of fighting? If so, would you prefer to fight full time, or do you have any ambitions in any other career field?
JL: I am a full time paramedic and I plan on being involved in both activities in some way for the rest of my life.
USCS: What are your post fight plans?
JL: A couple more buffets.
USCS: Do you have any sponsors, trainers or training partners you’d like to thank?
JL: Sponsors: CX gear, Nutri Sport, Texas Roadhouse. I would like to thank all of my training partners; both at the gym we lift at "Pumphouse," and all of the gyms that we train at.