John Albert will be taking on Scott Jorgensen this weekend at UFC on Fox 5. While the former Ultimate Fighter alum is currently riding a two-fight losing streak, so is his opponent. But Albert would be lying if he said there was more pressure on him because to him pressure doesn’t motivate him; he just enjoys to fight. We caught up with him to talk about his upcoming fight while he started to make the modifications to cut weight.
How’s it going today?
Going great. Just rest week. Doing a lot of technique and just getting ready to shed all that weight at the end of the week.
It’s fight week now. You are taking on Scott Jorgensen this weekend at UFC on Fox 5. How are things different for you during fight week than the rest of training camp?
It’s like the easiest and most difficult at the same time. Because the nutrition part changes quite a bit. My water intake – I increase my water intake quite a bit for this week, so I’m peeing like every five minutes. And then as far as my physical training, it’s only once a day. Keep it light, keep my conditioning up, and just technique. I put all my hard work in the past… I don’t even know how many weeks I’ve been training. It’s not time to break down your body any more; it’s time to rebuild. So that’s how it differs.
At this stage in your career, is getting down to 135 lbs difficult?
I’d say it’s a challenge. But I work so hard for it that it doesn’t really affect me too much. I could say it is definitely hard. Fighting at ’45 would be much easier! I feel the advantages outweigh the disadvantages for this huge weight cut.
As I said, you are fighting Jorgensen. Both of you are coming into the fight on a two-fight losing streak. Do you think there is more pressure on you or on him to perform well in this fight?
Weirdly enough, I think we’re both the same type of fighter. As in we enjoy the sport, and whatever the outcome is, we’ll deal with the outcome. Because we love to fight, and I’m not gonna change my fight style because my back’s supposedly up against the wall. It is what it is. If the UFC decides to cut me because I lose that’s their choice and their right. I don’t let it put that extra pressure on me because it does me no good. I don’t feel pressure is any good. Some people say it motivates them. I’m 100% motivated all the time anyways. I don’t need someone to tell me, “You’re gonna lose your position in the UFC,” to train hard. I’m gonna train hard regardless. So I think we’re both in the same position. We both want to fight, we both want to win, and we both want to put on a great show. That’s it.
You mentioned that you still believe Scott is a top-ten fighter in the UFC bantamweight division. What would a victory over him do for your career?
(Laughs) I really don’t know. Because I seem to keep getting tough fights, and if I beat Scott that just means they’re gonna keep giving me tougher fights. (Laughs) I think he’s still by far in the top ten in the world. You look at his losses… Renan Barao? He holds the title right now. Then there’s Eddie Wineland and he is fighting Brad Pickett for the number one contender spot. So he just fought two – number one and number two, number three – fighters in the world, and he lost. And then the Barao was a decision, and the TKO loss was his very first ever TKO loss. So you can’t look at him as like one more fight and he’s out. How could you put that on somebody who’s fought the best in the world? I would say if he lost to beginning up-and-comers to the UFC, two in a row, then you could be like, “Okay, he’s out of the game,” or, “He needs to re-vamp,” but he just lost to two of the best in the world, so there’s really no re-vamping, and he’s still in that top ten position.
That’s a very fair argument.
I don’t really care where I fight on the card. I love to fight. Obviously I want as much exposure as I can. The goal is to, no matter where I’m at on the card, I’m gonna make it a fight, and I’ve done that almost every fight. And putting me and him on the Facebook page, I really don’t see that does him justice. I can understand me, with my two fights, even though the last fight was controversial, I believe. But he’s a pioneer for the bantamweights and he’s a high-ranked fighter. I’d probably say it’s more frustrating for him. But like I said, we both love to fight, and regardless where we’re at, the fight’s gonna happen. We’re both gonna fight just as hard whether we’re on Facebook or the main event. We’re just there to put on a show.
He’s known for taking guys down and controlling them, trying to get them to commit a mistake to capitalize on. What’s the training like when you are fighting a guy like him?
I try to be as intelligent about it as I can. I’m not gonna expect me to become a world-class wrestler like he is within the two months, three months, that I’ve been training. That’s just not feasible. So what I always do is try to improve mixed martial arts as a whole and just sharpen the tools that I have. So there’s a couple of things that I work on specifically for Scott, but I don’t just do wrestling every day to improve my wrestling. There’s a couple drills I’ve been doing constantly for if he takes me down, or to try to prevent the take-down, or if I actually get down – simple things. But mostly I want to sharpen all my tools and just be a complete mixed martial artist. That’s a more devastating fighter. Because I’m gonna hurt him in so many positions that he’s gonna have to be a well-rounded fighter to fight, not either just box or just wrestle.
The biggest difference I see between you two isn’t style but rather that Scott has been to a decision more times than not, whereas you have never been out of the second round. To what do you attribute your high finish rate?
My tenacity – my aggression – my fighting style. I’m a huge advocate of, keep the sport as what it is: fighting. This isn’t taekwondo, point-sparring. I’m not trying to just get a decision on my opponent. I want to finish my opponent. Fifteen minutes sucks, man, that’s so long for a fight! Like that’s just ridiculous! I believe if you’re truly fighting and going after a fight you almost can’t go fifteen minutes. It’s so hard. It is so hard to go hard for fifteen minutes. And these guys are pacing themselves or not really bringing the fight, whereas I bring the fight. I’m not saying Scott doesn’t bring the fight like that, but the fights that I’ve watched him, they’re very action-packed and active, but they’re still very paced. Very, very decisive. Whereas my fights, I’m always coming forward, knocking a punch and throwing a punch. Always coming forward. That’s how I love to fight. I love to finish. I love to fight. I hate, I just hate decisions. (Laughs) They’re so tiring. I hate the way they make me feel at the end. Like that fight with Dodson even though I was in training like a pro, that ten minutes was horrible. Like I hated it. And I want to just go out there and finish the fight.
Safe to say you’re more of a sprinter than a marathon athlete?
I’m trying to learn to still be actively aggressive but controlled. I think that’s my big deal. That’s why I feel I lost to Ivan – because I just put so much effort into defeating him even though I was like right on the cusp. I blew my wad. And if you look at my all of my record – I have like fourteen, fifteen amateur fights and those all ended in the first round. So I got like over 25 fights, in total, and not a single one has gone to decision.
You mentioned there was a bit of controversy over your last fight with Erik Perez. It was pretty evident to most fans that you were positioning yourself to escape the armbar, not to tap out. Was there an appeal process for you after that loss, or did you decide to leave it as it was?
I personally dealt with it as, “it is what it is.” I hold no grudge toward Kim. I don’t involve Erik, because Erik obviously tried to finish the fight. I left it to my coaches and my agents. They wrote the letter, sent the letter into the commission, and they got a letter back saying that the referee’s decision was final, which was a little disappointing because you figure the athletic process like that would constitute that they’d actually look into evidence and that kind of stuff. But it was just like they were just very blunt. The referee’s decision was final, which doesn’t make sense because the referee’s the one that made the mistake, not me, not Perez. So it is what it is. I’ve moved beyond it. I forgave Kim that night in my head because I just don’t hold grudges. I don’t care. It’s a sport. That’s what it is; it’s a sport, and stuff happens. And I just try to improve and move on. I’m more disappointed in myself for even being in that position, so I put a lot of the blame on myself. Because I shouldn’t have even been in the armbar position even though I was reversing out of it.
That’s very admirable. Obviously, we can’t go back and change what happened.
Use your focus and energy on just getting back into training and fighting again. It’s not going to resolve anything, and then in the end what’s going to happen is you’re not going to get a W. You’re not gonna get a win. All it’s going to be is an asterisk or an NC on your record. You know, it is what it is. When people go back and go on Sherdog and look at it, they’re going to see “no contest,” and that’s it – or see the loss, and that’s it. There’s not going to be a paragraph explanation explaining what really went on and how the fight went. Unless you were really there, watching the fight in person or on TV.
Where can the fans find you at?
Always look me up on Twitter @UFCPrinceAlbert. Obviously you can be my Facebook friend at John Brian Albert. I don’t seem to have as many Facebook followers as I do Twitter followers. They probably have a hard time finding me, but that’s where you can find me.
Any sponsors or people you want to thank?
Absolutely. I’d like to start off by thanking Dennis Hallman at Victory Athletics for obviously getting me to where I am today. Without Dennis I would have never been able to say I’ve made it to the UFC and achieved the goal and the dream that very few can say they have. My strength and conditioning coach Ali Crosbie at 24-Hour Fitness. My striking coach, boxing, and muay thai at Saohin Srisuk Dude’s amazing – he’s a world boxing and muay thai champion and just world-class trainer, he’s unreal. And I’d obviously like to thank a new sponsor New Leaf Hyperbarics there in Tacoma. They’re a hyperbaric chamber therapy. They’ve helped give me the energy and recovery I need to train hard and be the best I can be. Comic Oasis in Las Vegas – they’ve been a huge part of my career. They support me because I’m a huge comic book nerd. They like me as a fighter, and they like that I’m a comic nerd, so that’s always cool, too. Obviously Dethroned for sponsoring me this fight. They have really cool clothing, and it’s stylish, and they’re very comfortable. I’d also like to thank Jeff Hougland the UFC bantamweight, and his team at Combat Sports Fitness. They’ve been a huge help while Dennis has been dealing with a lot of his issues right now. They’ve really helped me for this fight, as well. That’s all off the top of my head.