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Interview With Justin Jaynes Ahead of UFC Vegas 18

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Justin Jaynes is truly willing to take a fight anywhere, anytime. He proved that once again after agreeing to fight Devonte Smith at UFC Vegas 18 on six days notice. I had an interview with Justin Jaynes on the eve of his fight to discuss his “anywhere, anytime” mindset, and more.

‘Guitar Hero’ Jaynes entered the UFC last year by accepting a short-notice bout on three days notice versus Frank Camacho. Jaynes scored a knockout in his very first round apart of the UFC – earning him Performance of the Night honors.

Justin Jaynes
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 20: (R-L) Justin Jaynes punches Frank Camacho in their lightweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 20, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Two months later, he again served as a late replacement. This time, filling in to face Gavin Tucker. The result didn’t go his way this time, but Jaynes takes a lot of pride in his willingness to accept fights on the spot.

Interview With Justin Jaynes

“I think a lot of guys in the UFC and the regional circuit say ‘Oh I’ll fight anywhere, anytime’, but when they get offered it they say no. Some of it is ego related to me, in a sense that I put myself in some bad spots,” Jaynes said. “Like fighting Gavin Tucker on three weeks notice and cutting down to 145 (lbs) when I was almost 180 pounds when I got the call.”

Despite the results not always going his way, you have to admire Jaynes staying true to his word regarding the fight “anywhere, anytime” notion.

“I told them (the UFC) that I’d show up any day, anytime, and anywhere so the first call I get am I gonna say no? No let’s f**king go,” he asserted. “My gas tank played a factor in that one cause of the weight cut, but it’s definitely a prideful thing – wherever my career goes, I wanna be remembered as the guy who comes in swingin’.”

Jaynes received the call last Saturday asking if he’d like to fight Devonte Smith at UFC Vegas 18. Although he wasn’t planning on competing until spring, Jaynes felt he couldn’t pass this opportunity up.

“I’ve been battling some injuries the last couple months and I really didn’t plan of fighting until April,” Jaynes affirmed. “You know, I got that bug (COVID-19), but I got a lot of hunting and fishing coming up; bass season is coming up, so I was like ‘f**k I need to get a payday’ so here we are man. I signed the contract on Monday – six days later I’m stepping in the cage and I’m gonna knockout Devonte Smith.”

Jaynes was eager to credit his great team and support staff for making it possible for him to prepare to fight on such short notice.

“Weight cuts on any notice f**king suck,” he laughed, “but you know what I’m honestly very grateful for the team I have and the team the UFC’s given me from the PI. My guys at XTreme Couture are always helping me to make sure I’m on weight and on time and holding me accountable.”

As far as this weekend’s fight goes, Jaynes hasn’t had much time to formulate a game plan. Thus, the plan is to go in there and do what he does.

“Yeah basically just bad intentions man,” he confirmed, “he seems like a nice guy, I talked to him a little bit at the weigh ins, but it’s nothing personal man I just wanna hit him in the face harder than he hits me.”

Despite having fought three times in the past seven months, Jaynes is still feeling very eager to get back in there and compete.

“The competition man, I’m just such a competitor and I love competing. In the UFC, I’m not competing against Jo-Schmo, I’m competing against the best in the world. I believe Devonte (Smith) is in the top 50 lightweights in the entire world – not just the country, but the entire world – so to go test my skills against some of the best is such an honor. I’m so fired up to go in there and see what happens.”

Justin Jaynes faces Devonte Smith in a catchweight bout of 160lbs later today! Catch their bout on the prelims, set to kick off at 5:00PM (ET) on ESPN+. I hope you enjoyed my interview with Justin Jaynes and stay tuned for a follow up following UFC Vegas 18.


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Ryan Truland is an experienced MMA writer for Overtimeheroics.net. Ryan regularly conducts interviews with athletes, provides creative pieces, and whatever else is needed to keep readers up to date with the latest and greatest MMA content.