By: Mike Thorwart
This Friday (March 23rd), Fat Ninja Media sponsored fighter, Jacob “The Hunter” Kirwan (9-3 MMA, 1-0 BFC) will make his 2nd appearance under the Bellator banner against WEC and M-1 vet, Dave Jansen (16-2 MMA, 2-0 BFC).
In October of 2011 Kirwan made his debut in Bellator with a victory over current lightweight tournament selectee, Rene Nazare at Bellator 54.
Kirwan is ready to make a statement with the Bellator lightweight division that he is here to stay and a force to deal with.
Recently, I caught up with Kirwan and when asked how his training leading up to this fight is going, he had this to say;
“I feel good man. Cutting the last few pounds and going over game plan stuff. My training is going good. I got my blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu recently and I have been sparring a lot and doing a lot of conditioning as well. We MMA spar a lot so I think that helps tie everything together.”
Kirwan, who in the past traveled to New Mexico to train with UFC Lightweight, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone recently sparred with the lightweight star as well. With the high level of talent that is Donald Cerrone I had to know what it was like to spar with such a top level guy and Kirwan’s response was;
“Sparring with “Cowboy” is fun. I think he is one of the best strikers out there. Plus his takedowns have gotten really good. When you stand in front of him and then you stand in front of someone else, you can see the holes in thier game right away. Plus “Cowboy” throws down.”
On both a personal and writer point of view I was very interested on how Kirwan felt that even though he defeated Rene Nazare that Nazare was chosen over him (Kirwan) for the upcoming lightweight tournament as you would think that the man who defeated Nazare would be there instead. Kirwan very humbled, he responded, “I’m trying to focus on Dave Jansen. I’m not in the tournement so I’m not going to worry about it.”
Speaking of Jansen, Kirwan stated that he has watched a couple tapes just to focus on his style and that he doesn’t like to study guys and put’s more focus on what he is going to do rather then what he opponent plans on doing.
Certainly with a win over a skilled vet such as Jansen, one would think that it would propel Kirwan up the ranks within Bellator and also the world lightweight rankings. This will be Kirwan’s 2nd fight under his current three fight deal with Bellator and I was also curious as to where he see’s himself in the future.
“I think this fight should shoot me up the ranks. I like fighting tough guys. Im glad Bellator gave me tough fights right away. I have not really thought much about that. I really have not looked past Jansen. I know that would be a mistake. My goal is a world title. I kno the only way I’m gonna get there is one fight at a time.”
Kirwan will fight Jansen on the Spike TV preliminary card. All of the Bellator action will start at 7 p.m. ET on Spike.com. To access the Bellator section of Spike’s website click here. At 8 p.m. ET the main card will start to air live on MTV 2 and on EPIX in HD.
Be sure to follow Jacob Kirwan out on Twitter – @jacobkirwan155
Full Fight Card:
MAIN CARD (MTV2)
Eric Prindle vs. Thiago Santos (season-five heavyweight-tourney final rematch)
Patricky “Pitbull” Freire vs. Lloyd Woodard (lightweight-tourney opening round)
J.J. Ambrose vs. Brent Weedman (lightweight-tourney opening round)
Rick Hawn vs. Ricardo Tirloni (lightweight-tourney opening round)
Thiago Michel vs. Rene Nazare (lightweight-tourney opening round)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com)
Sonny Luque vs. Luis Vega
Douglas Frey vs. Rad Martinez
Cosmo Alexander vs. Oscar de la Parra
Joseph Daily vs. Sean Spencer
Steven Peterson vs. Chris Jones
Dave Jansen vs. Jacob Kirwan