North Carolina lightweight Jordan Rinaldi(4-0) knows all about the ups and downs of the MMA game. He experienced the biggest win of his short career in dismantling current TUF 14 contestant Dennis Bermudez in just over 2 minutes last November, only to suffer an injury a few months later that has kept him on the shelf until now.
Rinaldi was gracious enough to speak with Pro MMA Now as he is preparing for a huge showdown with another rising undefeated lightweight in Kevin Forant(1-0 pro) (10-2 ammy) on November 5th, at the Imperial Fighting II event.
Rinaldi talks about what he learned while recovering from his injury, how Kevin Forant will not hear the final bell on November 5th, and why watching TUF 14 this season is a blessing and a curse.
Pro MMA Now-Thanks for taking the time to speak with Pro MMA Now. How’s everything going man?
Jordan Rinaldi-Everything is going great, training is going great, my knee is doing well, my body is doing good so everything is good.
Pro MMA Now– Cool, now since you brought it up and I know you are coming off the knee injury that kept you out of action for a while. Talk us through that injury and the recovery process you had to go through to get back to where you are now.
Jordan Rinaldi-Well, I tore my LCL andPCL at NAGA[grappling tournament] in April so I got some new ones from cadavers. So they are brand new basically. Fresh ligaments so they are much better than they ever were before. So 3-4 months after the surgery I was back to full range of motion and pretty much back to the same strength if not stronger than I was before working out with a personal trainer to work on my legs to strengthen them.
Pro MMA Now-Word. Now since you were out for a while what do you think is the biggest lesson you learned from that whole ordeal?
Jordan Rinaldi-Staying healthy, staying lean(haha). I’ve never really been the leanest and everyone can probably remember that. I just learned to tend more to my diet, stay in shape better and always be ready to fight. I’ve always been able to take fights on short notice, but it would also require me to cut a lot more weight. But now, I’ve started to eat a lot more healthy that has helped me stay more lean.
Pro MMA Now-You probably learned to have a bit more patience too right?
Jordan Rinaldi-Probably(laughs). It has been a little frustrating being out of action for the past year.
Pro MMA Now-Cool. Let’s get to the fight you have coming up. You’ll be facing Kevin Forant at the Imperial Fighting II show on November 5th, in Concord, NC. He’s one of the better lightweights in the region. He’s won seven fights in a row all by stoppage(TKO or submission) and had an impressive pro debut back in September. Give us your thoughts on Forant as an opponent.
Jordan Rinaldi-Kevin Forant is pretty good. He’s relentless, has good cardio, and I think he’s a good opponent. His jiu-jitsu is pretty good and he ran through Sebastian[Wojdak] pretty easily and when he got it to the ground it was pretty easy for him. He has good standup. I’m thankful that he took the fight or else I wouldn’t have been able to fight since my former opponent had to back out with a knee injury. So I’m just thankful that he stepped up to take the fight.
Pro MMA Now-Good stuff. You know he’s only lost twice going back to his ammy career, both times against guys who were able to take him down and control him. It has been a while since that last loss, right at a year actually. Do you think he’s had time to close that hole up in his game? What are your thoughts on that?
Jordan Rinaldi-I’m sure he has worked on it. I mean even if you go into a fight and win the fight you learn about yourself. You learn about where your holes are. He hasn’t been working out at Chesapeake any less. He’s been working out even more even though he has been winning fights I’m sure. That’s the difference between amateurs and professionals. We become perfectionist, we work on the things that stand out even when we win the fights. I’m sure he has worked on his wrestling and I’m sure he has improved all parts of his game. My job is to go out there and be better at everything than him and I’m going to be better than him at every part of the fight game. Whether we are standing up or on the ground or the wrestling any part of it.
Pro MMA Now-Now I’m know you are up at Team R.O.C. in Raleigh, North Carolina, training. Who are some of the guys you have been training with for this fight?
Jordan Rinaldi-Honestly, I don’t know all their names or at least their real names(laughs). The other night I got to train with Brandon Garner, Jason Culbreth got on the mats with me and he has been very hands on with me and he’s a black belt under Royce Gracie. Philly, I don’t know his last name…wish I did..I should know it(laughs) but he’s another black belt under Royce and he trains up here at Team R.O.C., or he’s a teacher up here. I’ve been working with him and hopefully I’ll get to work with Jason Palacios in a few days, but if not that’s alright. Garner says he is a monster so I’d like to train with him and Garner is very good himself. So I’m work with those guys at the rest of the guys here in Raleigh.
Pro MMA Now-Let’s switch gears a little bit to something that your brother is very passioniate about. A lot of people don’t know you had a big win in your last fight prior to the injury against TUF 14 contestant Dennis Bermudez. Are you watching this season of TUF right now?
Jordan Rinaldi-Oh yea, I’m watching every episode. I’m really just hoping that Dennis does good. I hope he wins the whole thing.
Pro MMA Now-So what goes through your mind when you see not just Dennis but these guys on the show knowing that you could probably compete with them. What goes through your mind as you watch the show?
Jordan Rinaldi-I feel like some of them are very very good already. They are very skilled in everything. It’s like the UFC said they have potential, they are not there yet but they have the athleticism and the ability to pick this stuff up. I mean I get a little jealous sometimes, but my time will come and I honestly hope Bermudez wins the whole thing. That would make me look better when they see that I have a win over him in about two minutes. I mean watching them you have to be a little envious at times but I try not to be and I try not to think about that kind of stuff. I just wanna stay positive about it.
Pro MMA Now-Right, good things come in due time and I’m sure it’ll work out. I saw this and I’ve seen it before but hadn’t paid that much attention to it, I was watching one of your grappling matches on Youtube not long ago and the title was Jordan “All Day” Rinaldi. Where did the “All Day” nickname come from?
Jordan Rinaldi-(laughs) That’s just something we throw around at the gym as a joke. Some people feel that my cardio is always a question mark and it has been in the past. I wasn’t the freshest in the second and third round and they call me “All Day” because that’s how I need to train all day and harder all day.
Pro MMA Now-Ha! Now this fight with Forant this is going to be your first fight in the Charlotte area since your pro debut against Joe Carroll back in May 2010. Talk to us a bit about fighting close to home and being able to have many of your friends and family in attendance.
Jordan Rinaldi-Wow. I mean fighting in Charlotte is a blessing. The last three fights I’ve had were two in Pennsylvania and one in Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, I was only there with Rodney[Wallace] in hostile territory and that was pretty terrible. In Pennsylvania, only a few of the teammates and family could drive up, but fighting in Charlotte it puts a little more pressure on me because I’ll have a lot of people there. A lot of friends and family. Forant has a lot of people too. I saw when he was fighting Sebastian he had like 200 people there watching him. It’s really nice to be able to sleep in your own bed, just relax just like you are going to the gym to train. I mean it’s going to be the same way that Saturday and it is when I go train this Saturday at Team R.O.C. It’s really a blessing to not to have to change time zones or travel or anything.
Pro MMA Now-Obviously your fight with Forant is a great fight. It’s two highly ranked lightweights in the region. This card in general is very good the Imperial show. Why should people come out to this show on November 5th?
Jordan Rinaldi-Imperial show, you were there for their initial show the “Patriot Fights”. I mean if you want to talk about the best fights in Charlotte and the local area then this is it for sure. They have the best production values, they treat their fighters right, and they put on good value for your money. You have some of the top pro fighters in the region and top amateur fighters so you can’t ask for much more. Tim[McTee] has done an excellent job and treats the fighters well. So if they want bang for their buck this is the show to go to for sure.
Pro MMA Now-Indeed and we’ll be covering this upcoming event LIVE as well and looking forward to it. Winding down here….umm what’s your prediction for November 5th with you and Forant?
Jordan Rinaldi-I’m gonna stop Kevin Forant in the second round via TKO either on the feet just beating the hell out of him or on the ground which ever one he likes. I’m finishing this fight, it’s not going the distance. No one has finished Forant and he’s not making it to the third round and he’s not walking out of that cage under his own power I’ll put it that way.
Pro MMA Now-I love it when fighters give an actual prediction. Wow. That’s all I have man and I know you have another training session coming up. Do you have anyone you’d like to thank or any sponsors?
Jordan Rinaldi-My lone sponsor Shockdoctor and I thank them for everything they have. Jesus is the most important thing my Lord and Savior. Team R.O.C. in general in Raleigh and Charlotte. I’d like to thank Benard, Rodney and everyone that works with me. Chip Sigmon he’s also one of my trainers and that’s about it.