Oregon native and Team Quest fighter Tyson Jeffries is patiently waiting for his opportunity to dethrone M-1 Global’s middleweight champion; although showing incredible respect for what Rafal Moks brings as a fighter, ‘The Anti-Hero’ is aiming to make his reign short lived.
Watching M-1 Challenge XXII on the live stream from his couch, Jeffries was in the same position as most fans when time came for the middleweight championship bout to go down, “I had Sultanakhmedov pegged as the favourite against Moks hands down but Moks pulled off the awesome upset. That’s what makes the sport of MMA so great – you never know what can happen.”
Coming from a team known for producing impeccable fighters with sound wrestling foundations, Coach Matt Lindland, the highly decorated Olympian and role model to his camp, has helped his protégé win hard-fought, exciting tilts on route to winning the 2010 M-1 Selections middleweight tournament in the USA. “I train with the some of the best fighters in the world,” says Jeffries. “Team Quest has great pro-athletes like Chael, Matt, Schultz and Dolce but everyone forgets about our great roster of amateurs. Having this wide a group to train with is what makes us so versatile. We can train for anything.”
Capturing the Selections tournament crown this past September, Jeffries recognized what the win has done for him, “Winning the tournament was incredibly important. The insanely tough schedule opened up opportunities and it raised my status as a fighter. This was the stepping stone for me to position me for the M-1 Challenge title.” The win has also kept him appreciative and humble, “Fighting with M-1 has been a great experience since they really take care of their fighters. I’ve travelled to some cool places and seen more than I have in my entire life. I give M-1 a big ‘thank you’ for everything.”
Knowing that Moks has delivered time and time again in the face of serious adversity, Jeffries isn’t taking the planned fight lightly, “Moks is the champion for a reason. Sure I’ll have a size advantage but he’s a Pitt Bull – he just keeps coming. The stylistic matchup is great… If he wants to pull guard, I’ll punch him in the face from up top but I have to prepare myself like every fight and not get over confident.” To help make his training more effective, Jeffries has been changing things up a little, “I’ve been working with Sambo guys to make sure I’ve got all the angles covered.”
With Jeffries’ title fight expected to be formally announced in the coming weeks, it’s anticipated that the clash will happen overseas, which only adds fuel to the ‘The Anti-Hero’s’ drive, “I hope it’s in Russia. I’m excited for it – new culture, new experience. It’ll be straight out of Rocky IV!”
Expect Jeffries’ camp to be making extremely closely notes on Moks as they prepare the game plan for the middleweight battle; the ultimate goal will be to dethrone the European champ and bring the belt back to American soil.