Alan Jouban is in a turbulent space in his career. Instead of allowing it to cripple him, though, the UFC welterweight is using adversity as a chance to put things in perspective.
Jouban (15-6 MMA, 6-4 UFC) is currently on a two-fight losing skid for the first time in his more than seven years as a professional. He will attempt to get back on track at UFC on FOX 28 on Feb. 24 when he meets Ben Saunders (21-8-2 MMA, 8-5 UFC) in what could potentially be a make-or-break fight in terms of his divisional relevance.
The bout, which airs on the FOX-televised portion of the UFC on FOX 28 card following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass from Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., has Jouban feeling energetic again, he said. Prior to suffering consecutive losses, Jouban was on a 5-1 tear inside the octagon. He intends on getting back to the fighter who saw frequent success.
“I’m not a guy that’s in this sport to lose,” Jouban told MMAjunkie Radio. “I’m not a guy that’s in this sport to say I’m in the UFC and trying to get by. … Last year was not my year. Only fought twice – I lost both fights, super disappointing. It’s something that I never could have seen coming. Never lost two fights in my entire life, in anything. Never lost twice in a row at anything.
“That’s just sports. You zig when you should have zagged, get caught with a punch. The level is so high that sometimes you’re a little bit off that night and you get caught. I feel that’s kind of what happened to me last year.”
Instead of pointing the finger elsewhere for his struggle, Jouban said he’s chosen to take complete responsibility for his shortcomings. There’s no shame in losing to the likes of Niko Price and Gunnar Nelson, but it’s the way those fights unfolded that has Jouban most disappointed.
Jouban was knocked out in less than two minutes by Price at UFC Fight Night 114 in August, while Nelson handed “Brahma” his only career submission loss five months prior at UFC Fight Night 107. MMA is a game of inches, and Jouban said he’s been forced to learn that the hard way.
“It’s my fault,” Jouban said. “It’s my fault those things happened. There was never anything wrong with me, just small, minor mistakes I made. I’m excited going into this fight because I’m always improving.”
By the time Jouban steps in the octagon at UFC on FOX 28, it will have been nearly seven months since his most recent bout. That’s a lot of time for training and improvement, and although Jouban certainly believes he’s the best version of himself so far, he also admits that at his age and experience level, that’s not a vast evolution happening with his skillset from fight-to-fight.
“I don’t think you’re going to see a new, reinvented Alan Jouban,” Jouban said. “I’m realistic. I’m 36 years old, I’ve been fighting for like 10 years. I know what I’m good at. I’m always working and polishing my strengths. But I’m not going to come out there and all of a sudden be a completely different fighter. But I am going to make adjustments that might have put the opponent away the previous time, but I missed it. I’m always making adjustments. I think you’re going to see a little bit more of the classic Alan Jouban than a new Alan Jouban.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: UFC on FOX 28's Alan Jouban on losing skid: 'Something I never could have seen coming'