Head kicks, wheel kicks, low kicks, and any other type of martial arts kick you can think of and SSF Submission Academy’s Yannick Jones has tried it in the cage. Yannick, who currently has a 4-3 amateur MMA record, comes from a Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai background so it is no surprise he uses a lot of kicks in his MMA fights.
Do not be fooled however, as he has developed a nice ground game to go along with his superb stand-up under the tutelage of his trainer and owner of the SSF Submission Academy, Ron Dayley.
Recently, PRO MMA (promma.info) sat down to talk with Yannick about his martial arts background, how training with SSF has taken his ground game up to new levels, what it is like to be in the cage with an Olympic caliber wrestler, and more.
PRO MMA: Yannick thanks for taking time out to talk to PRO MMA (promma.info). How are you?
YANNICK JONES: I’m good man thanks.
PRO MMA: Even though you are now fighting in MMA you have a background in traditional martial arts could you tell us a little bit about that?
YANNICK JONES: Yeah I started out doing Tae Kwon Do when I was younger and then moved on to Muay Thai. I have fought in Tae Kwon Do and Karate tournaments. All in all, about thirteen years of that and six years of Muay Thai.
PRO MMA: Was your experience in those fighting styles the reason you got into MMA?
YANNICK JONES: Well, I have always been into MMA and about four or five years ago me and a friend started messing around grappling and kickboxing. Then I moved to Hopkinsville, KY. and found the SSF school and I have been with them since.
PRO MMA: How was it the first time you stepped into the cage?
YANNICK JONES: I was kind of nervous so I just started testing the waters and throwing kicks. I think I threw about a hundred kicks in two minutes and eventually caught the guy for the KO. I still get teased by my friends for throwing so many kicks, but it was what I was used to.
PRO MMA: Is it safe to say you prefer the stand up part of MMA over the grappling?
YANNICK JONES: Definitely I prefer striking, but I like the ground game too. I won my last fight in January by heel hook.
PRO MMA: Where do you currently train and who is your coach?
YANNICK JONES: I train at the SSF Submission Academy-Murray, KY. It’s a branch of the main school in Clarksville, TN. Ron Dayley the owner is also the head trainer, he comes down every Wednesday to show us new techniques and we do that and other things the rest of the week.
PRO MMA: You fought Brian Vanhoven who is a Marine Corps wrestler and Olympic alternate at an amateur event in Virginia. What was it like being in the cage with a wrestler and athlete of his caliber?
YANNICK JONES: I knew he was a great wrestler, but I came at him and knocked him out on his feet with a head kick, but when he fell and hit the mat it was like it woke him up. I could tell he was out of it but the referee let it go and I ended up losing by ground n’ pound.
PRO MMA: Sounds like the ref should have stopped it. Do you have any regrets about not finishing the fight?
YANNICK JONES: Not really I just let it get to me that the fight wasn’t stopped and that was my mistake.
PRO MMA: Do you have plans to go pro anytime soon?
YANNICK JONES: I would like to this year. First I want a couple of titles, then turn pro, it’s whenever Ron thinks I am ready.
PRO MMA: Is there anyone you want to thank or any shout-outs you would like to give?
YANNICK JONES:: Yes, Ron Dayley, he took my ground game to a whole new level, my teammates at Murray SSF and Anthony Stevens who really took me under his wing when I first started and showed me a lot.
PRO MMA: Yannick, thank you for taking time out to talk with us. Best of luck.
YANNICK JONES: Thank you I appreciate it.
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By: Dusty Adams