Jason ‘Grasshopper’ Jenkins will make his cage Warriors debut this October, when he faces former Bellator fighter, Salih Kulucan, on the promotion’s return to Newport. We caught up with Jason ahead of his biggest fight to date at Cage Warriors 87.
Hi Jason, how do you feel about your next match up with Salih Kulican?
JJ: It’s a step up in competition for me with Kulican, he just fought on Bellator and won with a nice heel hook. He’s had a few more fights than me too, and he’s got a decent record, so I think it’s going to be a good fight.
It is a big step up but I’m feeling confident. I’ve got a great bunch of guys behind me in the gym, the likes of Jack Shore and Josh Reed. There’s some killers in that gym. Even a few names people haven’t seen, as well as guys like Kris Edwards and Martin McDonough who are coming back on the scene. So I think I’m at the best place to be training with Tillery Combat.
You’ll also be making your third trip over to Canada to train at Tri-Star Gym in the build up to the fight.
JJ: Yes, I’ll have a solid two weeks training out there full time before the fight. It would be a dream to be training full time all the time, but you’ve got to pay the bills. It’s great to be in that gym training around the UFC athletes and other pros. You have to pinch yourself sometimes because it amazing.
Joe Duffy’s out there as well, and he’s someone I spent a lot of time with in the UK. We used to train every day together, so it’s nice to spend time drilling with Joe really going in to depth with things until it’s right.
How difficult has it been to prepare for this one, given so many opponents have pulled out?
JJ: The shows I fought on in the past were the same with pull outs, luckily Richard Shore would always get me a match up, sometimes even on 24 hours notice. He’s a saviour with that. For all the hard training you put in its mental when you don’t get to fight, but it has happened in the past.
It is a bit of a game changer in some ways because your prepping for a guy, and you see that guy in your head, and visualise how it’s going to go. When that guy pulls out you kind of have to start again.
How good will it be to fight in front of a home crowd at Newport?
JJ: I’ve fought in Newport quite a few times with Pain Pit and I’ve always loved the set up down there. There’s not a bad seat in the house. Pain Pit is one thing walking out in Newport, but Cage Warriors is going to be next level. You really see the difference with the staging, the lighting rigs and the way it’s all brought in.
Any predictions for the fight?
JJ: My preparation for this fight has been amazing, and it’s going to be the best I’ve been. I’m going to go out there and do my stuff. I would like to strike a bit more this time, but if it ends up on the ground I’m confident there as well.
Jason Jenkins (3-1) will make his Cage Warriors debut against Salih Kulican (5-5) on the undercard of Cage Warriors 87, at Newport Centre on October 14th