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October 14, 2022

πŸ“° NEWS--πŸ“° MITCHELL ON UPCOMING FIGHT WITH HYLTON: ‘FIRST ROUND KNOCKOUT’


[NEF PRESS RELEASE]

Portland, Maine (October 11, 2022)

Jordan “Iron Man” Mitchell has reached the crossroads in his mixed martial arts career at which he recognizes a trail of missed opportunities in the rear-view mirror but sees enough open highway through the windshield to still reach his professional goals.

With those aspirations on his mind and heart, the journeyman from Indianapolis will travel to a place whose aesthetic charms have always captivated him and stand toe-to-toe in the New England Fights hexagon with a certain 6-foot-6, 245-pound roadblock known as Ras “RasquatchThe Jamaican Shamrock” Hylton.

“I heard about it the other day, and I was pretty excited,” Mitchell said in an interview with Ryan Jarrell on Between Rounds Radio. “I’ve seen Ras before. I’ve watched a couple of his fights. I’ve said his name to a couple of promoters, but they never got in contact with me, so I’ve been looking forward to fighting him for a while.”

Mitchell (10-16) vs. Hylton (8-6) will be the co-main event at NEF 50, slated for Saturday, November 12 at Aura in Portland, Maine.

The hexagon will house two big bodies with large potential for a crowd-pleasing knockout. Mitchell, who stands roughly six feet tall, has spent enough time in the land of giants that he is unlikely to be intimidated.

“I’ve fought a couple (tall) guys as an amateur, fought a couple pros,” Mitchell said. “One guy I fought was like 6-6. Beat him in two rounds. One guy from Australia was 6-3, 6-4, and he was massive. Then I just fought (6-5) Tony Lopez in bare-knuckle back in May, so yeah, I’m used to these big guys. That doesn’t shock me at all.”

Mitchell admitted it’s his girth, not height, that has played a role in sidetracking what started out as a promising career.

Formerly a middleweight and light heavyweight in a decorated amateur career that saw him snag title belts in three different classes, Mitchell walks around at 265 pounds today after peaking at 280. He hopes to shed another 20 before the showdown with Hylton.

“I’m up and down about my career, because as an amateur I went 22-3, 19 knockouts, three submission wins. Then I got big-headed. I won my first pro fight in 12 seconds, and that was against a Bellator vet (Ed Carpenter). I got big-headed. I didn’t take my career seriously. I didn’t train like I should have and just blew up. Really, I was just fighting for paychecks. I’m trying to turn it around because I know I’m still young. I’ll be 32 in December, so I can turn my career back around.”

Mitchell’s past seven fights, a combination of MMA and bare-knuckle boxing matches, have followed a won-lost-won-lost-won-lost-won cadence.

In all disciplines, he’s seen his size reveal itself as an asset just as many times as it’s been a liability.

“What I’m good at in heavyweight is I’m faster than a lot of these big guys, and my power is ridiculous,” Mitchell said. “I just like heavyweight. I don’t like dropping down in weight, but now I’m starting to get where they’re keeping up with me, so I’m trying to drop back down and take over the light heavyweight and middleweight division like I used to.

“At 265, I still have my speed,” he continued. “It’s just my cardio. For this fight I want to be 240, 245. I’m still gonna have that power. My speed’s still gonna be there. I just want to work on mt cardio. That’s my only problem. Everything else is perfectly fine. My takedown defense is good if my cardio is good. I’m good on the ground too. My ground game’s legit. If my cardio’s good, I’m unstoppable.”

Unlike many younger fighters who follow a wrestling or karate background from their youth into the MMA realm, Mitchell is also honest about how he gained entry to the cage.

“Street fighting, man. All I did was street fighting,” Mitchell said. “I got into (MMA) 13 years ago, and my first amateur fight I won in seven seconds, knockout. First pro fight, won in 12 seconds. So, I just fell in love with it, and I ain’t stopped.”

Mitchell has been in the more formal discipline so long, he said, that his record is deceiving.

“I’m really 15-16, ‘cause five of my amateur fights were pro fights, but back then we weren’t sanctioned like that, so I can’t count that on my record,” Mitchell said. “A lot of people don’t take me seriously because of my record, but I’m starting to turn it around. I’m about to be on a tear here soon.”

To start that run in November, he’ll have to take down an NEF mainstay and Bellator vet in Hylton who has stopped his past two opponents, including Cody Lightfoot in 13 seconds at NEF 48: “Heatwave” in July.

Hylton’s reach and power have been a problem for countless opponents, but his first-round knockout losses to Chris Sarro and Yorgan De Castro give Mitchell the inspiration that he too could catch lightning in a bottle.

“He is longer. I don’t want to be on the outside getting jabbed. I learned my lesson when I fought Tony Lopez. He just jabbed me to death,” Mitchell said. “I’m just gonna get in and get him with one of my famous uppercuts or my overhand. We’ll see what happens, but I feel like it’ll be a quick night. I’ve just gotta play smart.”

Mitchell compared himself favorably to some of Rasquatch’s conquerors.

“I think I hit way harder than Sarro. No disrespect to him, but I feel like I hit harder than him, De Castro, I wanted to fight him. I tried to get a fight together before he went to UFC, and it never happened. That would have been a very exciting fight, me and him,” Mitchell said. “But yeah, I feel like my power’s up there. People don’t take me seriously because of how my body looks, but if you ask anybody I’ve ever fought, they’re gonna say, ‘That boy’s power is scary.’ I’m blessed with it. You’ve gotta feel it to believe it.”

Even with more than 50 combined pro and amateur bouts under his belt, Mitchell brushes off any suggestions of retirement until the paying portion of his career mirrors the success of his formative years in the sport.

“I won three titles in three divisions as an amateur. I want to do that as a pro. That’s my goal. Then I’ll retire,” Mitchell said. “I don’t want to be in UFC and all that. That don’t excite me no more. I’m older now. I just want to pave a way for my kids. My son, he’s one, and I’ve got him punching the bag already. I just want to make a good life for my kids, so that other stuff doesn’t excite me. Whatever happens, happens, but I want to get my record back up.”

The stay-at-home dad also suggested his trip to Maine will double as a mechanism for exploring a part of the country in which he might like to settle down.

“I was just talking to my girlfriend saying, ‘Hey, I want to move to Maine,’ ‘cause that’s one of the places I would love to move to, so this is a blessing just to be able to come over there and fight. I’m psyched and happy to be fighting for the promotion,” Mitchell said. “I want to get an Airbnb and see all the sights. I’m an outdoorsy person, so I love all that outdoors and all the lakes and all the mountains. All that stuff interests me. Maine is one of my top choices, and Montana, so hopefully soon in a couple years I’ll be moving to one of them.”

Mitchell isn’t worried about playing the heel to the fan favorite Hylton and doesn’t feign any ill will toward the South Portland-based veteran.

“I don’t even care. I just air it out,” he said. “Every time I go into hostile territory and at the end of the night I win by knockout, everybody’s cheering me. Even if I lose, people are cheering me, so that’s why I don’t even pay attention to it. I’m very respectful. After the fight we can have a beer or something. He’s a family man. He has kids. It’s gonna be all respect.”

That didn’t stop him from making a bold prediction.

“First-round knockout,” Mitchell said. “I ain’t gonna say how, but I see a first-round knockout. Everybody in Maine, be ready for a show. I’m gonna bring the power. It’s gonna be a good night.”

Opening bell time for NEF 50 at Aura is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 12. Tickets are available now at www.ticketmaster.com.

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