Before American Top Team fighter Lindsey “Sweet Tea” Jones returns to action against Jeff Powell at Valor Fights 42 on Saturday in Newport, Tenn., LIVE on FloCombat, the Blue Chip prospect sat down with ProMMANow.
How did you find MMA to begin with?
I found MMA at a pretty young age — I was 14. I found it through watching Kimbo Slice street-fighting videos on YouTube, and I kinda went down the rabbit hole (laughs), and I ended up fighting a couple months later. That was all she wrote; I’ve been training and fighting since then, and I haven’t looked back.
Have you always been with American Top Team?
Yes, I have been. The gym I started training with in Georgia was an ATT affiliate. I had my first two fights with them, but I wanted to go to a gym where I would be challenged even more, so I could reach my full potential in the sport. At 19 I went to American Top Team in Coconut Creek, and moved here full time at 21.
Who are some guys who have been helping you?
There are a lot, but I’ll start with my coaches — Din Thomas and Mike Brown. They’ve been huge for me this camp, helping me with my movement and helping me with my grappling. I have great training partners — Thiago Alves and Will Brooks, among many others — who help me every day.
Looking back, how good of a decision was it for you to relocate to Florida to get world-class training?
I personally believe American Top Team is the best gym in the world. We’ve got three UFC champions and a lot more on the way. Coming down here, it’s been the greatest thing ever. When there are so many high-level guys here, you can’t help but get better. Just show up, work hard, and you’ll be good. They make it pretty simple.
Are you the top prospect in your weight class?
(Laughs) All things considered, yes. I’m the top prospect, and I’m going to beat these guys up, to put it lightly.
What can your opponent expect on Saturday?
He can expect to get beat up, and either knocked out or submitted. Whatever this guy does, I can do it a lot better than him, and I can do a lot more than him. He’s another win for me on that road to the UFC.