The Professional Fighters League made its 2018 debut on June 7, and it was viewed as a success after several highlight-reel finishes. However, before fighters ever reached the cage to compete, weight issues involving heavyweights forced the promotion to shuffle the deck. Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Shawn Jordan was among those who violated the scale, as he checked in well above the 265-pound limit.
“It was a real mess,” Jordan told Sherdog.com.
He still cannot pinpoint a specific reason why he missed the weight limit by nine pounds, though several factors conspired against him. It started when Jordan learned his bout was official. He had been inactive for almost a year and a half, and the opportunity to fight came sooner than he anticipated. Jordan was given roughly a month to prepare.
“It was a lot of work done real fast,” he said.
With that said, Jordan made the trip to New York believing his weight was where it needed to be ahead of the fight. Unfortunately, the scales there did not match his scales at home, and he was well above the division limit a few days before the event. This was a concern but not a calamity, as he still had time to cut the unnecessary weight -- until the New York State Athletic Commission entered the equation.
“It was a bad week,” Jordan said, frustration rippling through his voice. “This whole commission kind of messed everything up.” He was under the assumption that all of his medical records were adequate and that he would be licensed to fight. However, the NYSAC did not clear his previous records, forcing him to get new medical tests done in the days leading up to the fight. This threw all of his pre-fight routines off schedule: “It was absolutely frustrating having to deal with all kinds of crap and having [to do medicals again and] being pulled out of weight cuts and workouts.”
Jordan claims he was not the only fighter involved in a stressful situation.
“Not just me, everybody was running around all over New York trying to get medicals,” he said. “Other guys who had fought before in New York didn’t get cleared.”
Having in fought in Bellator MMA, the UFC, Strikeforce and various other promotions, it was an experience with which Jordan was completely unfamiliar.
“Fighting in the UFC, everything’s done,” he said. “When you get to the fight, you don’t have to do anything. I’m not making excuses.” Jordan then turned the microscope away from the PFL and NYSAC and placed the blame for the situation at his own feet: “It was my fault.”
Jordan will make his season debut at PFL 4 on Thursday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. Weight should not be an issue.
“I’m good now,” Jordan said.
The former Louisiana State University fullback finds himself in a disadvantageous position ahead of the event. Since he did not compete as originally planned in June, he was given a loss in the season standings. Even so, Jordan does not feel an added push to be aggressive and shoot for an early finish to score valuable points.
“I guess there should be [pressure], but there [is none],” he said. “I want to get this done. I want to win this fight.”
Opponent Josh Copeland understands how he feels. He, too, will enter the cage without any points banked, as he was knocked out by Jack May at PFL 1. Jordan does not foresee Copeland being overly aggressive, partly because he does not think it is the Coloradan’s style to do so and partly because he does not see it as a particularly intelligent way to fight.
“You’ve got to think about winning this fight,” Jordan said. “You’ve got to be smart. Coming out hard, fighting dumb [and] doing all this banging is not the way anyone is going to last in this tournament.”
Jordan respects the durability and experience Copeland brings to the table as a former Resurrection Fighting Alliance champion.
“He’s tough,” Jordan said. “He can take some punishment.” However, the 33-year-old expects to win and hopes to do so in spectacular fashion. “I’m a finisher,” Jordan said. “Hopefully [it’s a] first-round knockout.”
While Jordan would be open to a rare submission, he has only three such victories on his resume. He has secured 15 of his 19 career wins by knockout or technical knockout.
“I am a black belt,” Jordan said, “[but] I don’t use it.”