CAGED BEAST: Jordan Headlines PA Cage Fight Event This Weekend
LARKSVILLE — Jimmy Jordan considers himself to be somewhat of a natural athlete.
Jordan recalls his late grandfather Don Lewis, who once marveled at Jordan’s ability to catch a football in double-coverage for Valley West and Wilkes University.
“Honest to God, my response was: ‘You know, Pop, I can slow it down. When the ball’s in the air, I’m in slow-motion,’” Jordan said. “I don’t know if that’s attributed to playing for 15 or 16 years, but, same with baseball.”
Jordan was a catcher and he played through teeners, saying he was also able to slow the game down on the baseball diamond.
“I was the smallest guy in the league, but I just had a nice, natural swing,” Jordan said. “I could just see the ball.”
Contrary to the success he’s enjoyed in mixed martial arts, this stage of his athletic career has presented more challenges than Jordan had anticipated.
The 33-year-old will return after a two-year hiatus to headline Saturday’s PA Cage Fight 34 at Genetti’s in downtown Wilkes-Barre. He will fight Ricky Nuno of Bethlehem in the main event.
Jordan said this “could be” his last fight, as he’s spent the past two years recovering from surgeries and also exploring a few career choices; he and his girlfriend are expecting a baby boy in the new year.
Regardless of when he fights his last fight, Jordan will walk away as one of the all-time fan favorites at PA Cage Fight.
It all started in August 2012 at PA Cage Fight 13, where Jordan made his debut against Kadim Wheatle.
“Didn’t know what to expect. Didn’t even know I had this in me,” said Jordan, a 5-foot-10 lightweight. “The kid gave me a front kick to the stomach. It hurt like hell. And when I got kicked, I smiled. You know, you gotta brush it off and you can’t let the judges or the crowd see that it hurt. But I got kicked in the stomach ... and I said to myself, ‘All right, smile now, but don’t let it happen again because that hurts.’”
Jordan then flipped the switch and won via submission, starting an amateur career that began with a 5-0 record.
Jordan also started 5-0 as a professional.
Now 7-4 as a professional, Jordan said he believes he’s yet to fight his best fight.
“This is the one sport that I cannot control. I cannot slow it down,” Jordan said. “I think that’s part of what keeps driving me — that I know that I’m capable, but I just haven’t been able to do it in front of people yet. In practice, I can do it.”
Jordan’s most recent fight was a loss suffered in November 2016.
During his time off, Jordan thought about leaving the sport for good, but he ultimately came back for at least one more fight.
“Soon enough, I realized that I still had that fire burning and I wanted to do it again,” he said.
Jordan vs. Nuno is one of 11 bouts scheduled at PA Cage Fight 34. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the first fight starting at 7 p.m.
Tickets start at $30 and are available at pacagefight.com or at the door beginning 6 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s our fourth show of 2018, we haven’t done a show since June,” said promoter Paul Matreselva. “Northeast Pennsylvania was in need of a huge MMA show like this. It’s a stressful time of the year. We urge everyone to come out and see the fight card we compiled. It’s going to be insane.”
The co-main event pits Ethan Goss against Branden Seyler at 145 pounds. Goss and Seyler have each fought in Bellator MMA, which is owned by Viacom and is the UFC’s chief rival.
Also on the card are the debut of Scranton MMA’s Lucas LaRue, as well as Joe Rivas of Hanover Twp. fighting for the PA Cage Fight 160-pound amateur title.
Luis Angueira vs. Tanner Leed, 165
Josh Jones vs. Troy Potts, 145
Josue Santos vs. Devlin Bratcher, 135
Lauren Strausser vs. Rachael Penkower, 105
Zach Miller vs. Marc-Ari Lewis, 170
Lucas LaRue vs. Shaharyar Bhatti, 170
Mike Erb vs. Austin Swoyer, 265
Joe Rivas vs. Thomas Crossan, 160
Timmy Tyler vs. Michael Taylor, 170*
Ethan Goss vs. Branden Seyler, 145*
Jimmy Jordan vs. Ricky Nuno, 155*
* denotes professional bout
Contact the writer: email@example.com; 570-821-2060; @CVBufano on Twitter