Jordan “The Native Psycho” Griffin (15-5) of Wisconsin is back at the Mystic Lake Casino in Shakopee, MN tonight to display his well-rounded skills again on AXS TV. He is set to face Shawn West (15-9) of Iowa in a featured televised fight.
Griffin, who is managed by Minnesota based Sterling Entertainment Group, scored a career-best win over submission specialist Darrick Minner (20-8) last March at LFA 34. The come from behind armbar submission win turned the tables on his toughest opponent to date. Griffin talked about his background and tonight’s fight with Minnesota Fight News on the eve of LFA 41.
Talk about where you are from and how you got into mixed martial arts.
I am from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and I got into mixed martial arts after being jumped by six guys. I had a friend whos uncle told me about MMA and said try this out, and I liked it.
Now that you are an accomplished mixed martial artist, have you ever been jumped since?
I got into one other fight, and then I stopped going out to the bars afterward. I got jumped again by three guys and ended up knocking all three of them out. I was tackled by three cops who dragged me away. One of the guys told the cops that I wasn’t trying to fight them, that they had started it. Thank God that guy was being honest.
Where you an athlete in other sports growing up?
I was in wrestling for one year and did two years of varsity track. I also played basketball growing up and did skateboarding so I always stayed pretty active.
Where did the nickname Native psycho come from?
When I first started out, I liked to pick big guys up and slam them. That was my big thing, I was into WWE wrestling, and my first amateur fight I didn’t know what to do, so I literally picked the guy up and slammed him on his head. That was the closest thing I could relate to fighting, was WWE. Later on, things progressed and I decided that I wanted to be called the Psycho Hammer and wanted to be crazy. Then I moved over to Roufusport some years later with Duke Roufus. He suggested that I go with something more with my Native roots because I am Native American, Mexican, and African American. I grew up knowing mostly the Native American side of my family. So we’ve been going with the Native Psycho for the last few years. I went on to become a champion for King of the Cage and all of their fights are on tribal land so it stuck with me.
I don’t know if LFA gives out awards, but your last win over Darrick Minner had to be the submission of the night. Talk about the fight against Minner.
I remember him being really strong. I cut to 145 pounds which is kind of harsh. I feel like I am just trying to do my best at 145 pounds because it is tough. I know I am going to be tired no matter what. I work 40 hours a week, I go to the gym and train. So it’s tough. If I could train full time which I hope to do eventually, I feel like 145 wouldn’t be that hard. So he was strong. But we saw an opening and that is something I feel like I am getting really good at executing. When I see something, and my coaches see something, I listened, found the opening and got the win.
You mentioned your gym Roufusport, and you train with a talented group. How did training camp go for this fight?
It went pretty well but there were a few ups and downs. Contract issues because people kept jumping out as my opponent. LFA was awesome in finding me a new opponent. For this one, the guy asked to fight at 150 pounds and I said perfect. I didn’t have to cut all that weight so I feel strong.
Who were you originally supposed to fight before Shawn West stepped in?
I was supposed to fight Fernando Padilla but he had gotten hurt. But even before that, I was actually supposed to fight Shawn West. I don’t know what happened to him the first time, but he called LFA and said he wanted the fight so here we go. He wanted the catch weight so I can’t complain.
Ok, Let’s talk more about your opponent Shawn West. What do you know about him?
He fought one of my teammates Nate Jennerman. He has good hands and just made his pro boxing debut. I’ve got good hands too so we will see what happens. I know I am the more well-rounded fighter so wherever the fight goes, I feel like I am going to be able to pull it off. If he allows me to be more aggressive in the pocket I will stay there and trade. If things aren’t going my way, I will take him down and do what I have to do. Or I might pick him up and slam him on his head (laughing).
What are your goals and where do you want to be by the end of the year and into next?
Well, I kind of have this crazy idea that I am going to move up to lightweight and hopefully get a chance to eventually fight one of the lightweight champions. Conveniently enough there are two lightweights fighting in the main event the same night I am fighting. I figure why not!
Anything you would like to add in closing?
I would like to thank all my teammates, family and friends for supporting me. T-Mobile in Midtown. That’s my job and where I work. Now it’s time for me to do my job and execute on Friday night.