Shawn Jordan Chasing Gold, Compares Coach Wink to Nick Saban
Jordan competes in his first title fight as he faces current WSOF heavyweight champion Blagoy Ivanov in the main event of WSOF 35, which takes place at The Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York. Ivanov has been perfect under the WSOF banner, going 3-0, picking up the trifecta of a knock out, submission and decision victory.
Jordan, a heavy-handed and heavy-footed athletic stopper, looks to put the Bulgarian out of commission, and walk out of the arena with the gold strap over his shoulder.
"I need to win this fight." Jordan told FloCombat. "I want to win the title and represent WSOF for a while. Having a title associated with this fight is great. This is the first time I have ever fought for a title for a major company. I am excited about it.
"This fight might be fought at a slower pace. He does neutralize many things. He's not exactly an explosive fighter. He's consistent. He fights well. He fights hard and he doesn't quit. It's going to be a gritty fight. I'm OK with gritty."
Although Jordan has hit the roadways and airways in traveling all across the country to train at the best gyms numerous times over the course of his career, this time is different. This fight camp marks the first time Jordan has traveled away from his newlywed and growing family.
All fighters find themselves weighing the pros and cons of spending precious time away from loved ones to pursue their passion and hone their craft. Jordan has come to terms with this fact, and plans to shine a spotlight and honor his loved ones with a huge victory tonight.
"I've always left to do a training camp but this is the first big camp since I was married." Jordan said. "This time is different. I am spending time away from my wife and kids. They deserve it. I will be doing it for them. We have another child on the way. It's stressful to be away. You feel like you are helpless. You do what you have to do. I can't play Mr. Mom at home and get ready for a fight."
Jordan's athletic prowess was exhibited long before his career in MMA blossomed. He was a two-time Texas state wrestling champion, the starting center for his high school basketball team, and ranked one of the top ten fullbacks in the entire country. Jordan chose to take his talents to Louisiana State University. He was the starting full back for two national championship teams at LSU.
He played his college ball for quite possibly the greatest college football coach ever in Nick Saban. Jordan shares the story from when he first met his coach.
"I remember how business-like Saban was." Jordan said. "He came to recruit me during my sophomore year. We did the visit at my coach's house. My coach's wife made this big Mexican style dinner. There was all kinds of food. I was eating my ass off. Saban was just picking at his food. Ten minutes into the big dinner Saban was like 'Are you ready to talk?' I'm over here stuffing food in my mouth.
"I have enchilada all over my face. LSU was the first school to make me an offer. He wanted me to verbally commit right there. I couldn't even think. It just came out. I said 'I'm coming to LSU!' He just demands respect. The way he carries himself, his demeanor. He's all business. That's why he's so good."
The fullback face-puncher has spent time around great leaders of men and great tacticians in many different arenas. He sees similarities between a great football coach like Saban and a certain striking coach in Albuquerque.
"I don't know anybody like coach Saban." Jordan said. "If I had to compare him to anybody it would be Coach Mike Winkeljohn. Coach Wink is one of my favorite coaches still to this day. He was business. He was serious. It was going to work. It wasn't a joking matter. I joke around a lot. It took him awhile to get used to me. He hated being hugged, so I would always hug him. After fights he would pick me up and hug me and say 'It's my turn.' I said "OK coach, cool, it's weird now that it's on camera.' "