Thursday, March 15, 2007

Canada’s Next Great MMA Export - Jeff Joslin

By Mike Doyle

Over the past couple of years, there’s been an abundance of Canadian fighters that have achieved success on the North American MMA scene; none more so than UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre. And in keeping with this tradition, another Canuck appears poised to make a huge breakthrough – Jeff Joslin.

Joslin (5-3) recently made his long-awaited UFC debut in December, albeit a decision loss to Josh Koscheck. Nonetheless, “The Inferno” was impressive in his first appearance under the bright lights, controlling the stand-up portion of the fight, which forced Koscheck to revert back to his elite wrestling skills to earn the nod from the judges.

Contrary to the outcome, the Apex Welterweight Champion’s performance actually endeared him to a new legion of fans, most notably Joe Silva. Because it’s a daunting task to try and stop Koscheck from scoring takedown after takedown, the UFC matchmaker has had some difficulty finding opponents for “The Ultimate Fighter” veteran. Therefore, Joslin’s willingness to accept the fight certainly reassures Silva that he made an excellent decision bringing “The Inferno” into the UFC fold.

Joslin’s second fight in the organization was set for the upcoming UFC Fight Night on April 5th, against Kuniyoshi Hironaka. Unfortunately, an undisclosed injury has forced the Hamilton native to withdraw from the card. Despite the setback, Joslin has recently started training again and should return to the famed Octagon in about two months.

The Joslin name is synonymous with marital arts in Canada, as Jeff's father, Rick, is a 3-time Canadian karate champion. The elder Joslin opened a training centre ( in Hamilton back in 1967, and as a result, Jeff has been involved in the striking arts since about 5 years of age. Thus, the 31-year old gained a reputation as a karate practitioner, but it's worth noting that Joslin hasn't done any formal karate training for the past twelve years; he's committed to refining his boxing and kickboxing to become a more technical fighter.

Evidently, it was during the Koscheck fight where Joslin showcased his striking ability, using range and head movement to set up effective strikes. The NCAA wrestling standout had previously been touted as having an ever-improving stand-up game, but Koscheck had no answer for “The Inferno” on the feet.

Aside from his striking background, Joslin trains wrestling at the University of Guelph and he’s also a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt. Thus, it’s this type of versatility that will aid Joslin during his journey through the UFC ranks.

No comments: