[Martial Direct] You can't turn it down, right?
[Jermaine Andre] Right. You can't turn it down. I wanted to say, "No," but I couldn't say, "No." Because I knew, win or lose, it would give me the exposure I needed to keep moving forward.
It was a real good lesson for me. I've never had anybody outclass me as a fighter. Where like I'm in there fighting and I'm just going, "Oh my God, this guy's tearin' me up!" It's always been that they're just getting almost what I let them get. And… I was letting Lance do too much. I was like laying on the cage and just relaxing and… I mean I wasn't even really fighting, you know? And every now and then I'd explode on and do something to him.
But it taught me a good lesson that you can't play around in there. Because even if you fight somebody that feels like they're … not even matches that were tough, still, they can get something in on you. That's what happened to me at the very tail-end of the fight. He got that knee in and put me… you know, put me totally out.
[MD] Your last fight was with Joey Villasenor in John Lewis' WFA. Can you tell us about that fight? That one was a pretty quick one, too, wasn't it?
[JA] Yea, that was a quick one. Came out, he uh… came in with a flying jumping knee. I saw the knee coming and I moved my head to the side and he hit my shoulder… and when he was coming his way down, I picked him back up. Caught his leg that he threw the knee with… lifted him in the air. Took him down for a slam and he tried to stick his foot in the way of the slam to stop from being slammed. Which all that did was, break his foot coming down. As soon as he hit the mat, man, he was tappin'!
That was it!
You know… I didn't even know… I mean I hit him twice. I threw a right and a left. Punched him twice in his face. It was kind of hard for him to say, "Stop." Then I went straight for an ankle lock. I was ready to put an ankle lock on him. The next thing I know the ref was telling me, "Let him go… Let go of him."
I'm like, "What are you talking about? I'm not letting him go!"
[MD] Still got the adrenaline pumping, right?
[JA] Yea. I couldn't shut it down. It took me, finally, all night to shut it down.
[MD] When will you be fighting in the WFA again?
[JA] Supposed to be defending my title in April.
[MD] Do you have any idea who you'll be fighting?
[JA] No, not yet.
[MD] They haven't announced that yet?
[JA] We're trying to hook it up to re-match Lance Gibson.
[MD] Oh yea!
[JA] I plan on taking back all my loses.
[MD] I don't blame you. Not the way you've been winning.
[JA] Yea, definitely. And I plan to take it back from him. That's going to be a big fight. Everybody wants to see it. I don't want to let them just pop it up. That's a good money fight for me and Lance. And whoever promotes it.
[MD] Who would you like to fight the most, besides Lance Gibson?
[JA] You know what? That's a good question. I've never really thought about it. There's actually nobody specific that I want to fight.
[MD] Nobody specific?
[JA] Nope. Nobody specific at all.
[MD] Did you see the HBO special on Mark Kerr?
[JA] Nope. Don't watch TV at all.
[MD] Where do you see the future of Mixed Martial Arts going?
[JA] That depends. The problem you've got with Mixed Martial Arts and the shows is, nobody really wants to build the fighters. A lot of the promoters of the shows want to build their shows, but don't want to build up the fighters. People can't relate to a show! They don't care about a show. They care about who's on a show.
You've got to get the fighters' names, you've got to get to where they're becoming household names.
I've got a staff right now working down here with me, and people are going to know me even though they don't watch NHB. That's where we've got to start getting these fighters at, or else, it's gonna die off.
It's getting legalized pretty much everywhere. I think it's definitely a good… a great sport. You know, it's not really a sport to me. It means more than that to me, but I think it's a good sport.
I mean we're definitely the ultimate athletes. We put it all together. We've got to use our brains, you've got to have speed, you've got to have endurance, cardio, power, strength. We've got to have… we've got to know all of these moves. You've got to know what to look out for.
I definitely think it should go real far.
[MD] I totally agree with you about the athleticism and the way you guys train.
[JA] It's just incredible. We put in a ton of work. We are the most underrated, underpaid athletes in the world!
[MD] You make a very good point about building up the fighters. If you can build up the name recognition like boxers do, then MMA athletes will start getting paid the money they deserve.
[MD] And the crowds will be there to support it.
[JA] Exactly. That's what it's all about. It's all about marketing.
But I think that the problem we run into is a lot of the promoters try to market their show too much. But if you're pushing a fighter… you know, like you think back 40 years or 30 years ago. Nobody remembers the WBA, they remember Muhammed Ali. Spinks. They don't say anything about a fight league. They talk about the individual fighter.
Hell, I knew who Michael Jordan was and I never watched basketball! That's the whole idea. That's the approach that my staff and I have taken right now. Everybody's going to know who Jermaine Andre is whether they watch NHB or not.
You go, "Hey! That's Jermaine Andre!"
"Oh yea, I know him!"
"What does he do?"
(End of Part 1)
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