After an emphatic decision victory over Justin Tafa, we had the pleasure of chatting with Jared Vanderaa again. We talk about his Fight of the Night victory, why he chose to stand and bang with a knockout artist, and we get to know Vanderaa a little more personally as we talk about his favorite foods and past times as well. We also talk about his callout of Ben Rothwell, and when we might see “The Mountain” fighting again!
However, first, let’s just go back over the recent history of Vanderaa to paint a clear picture and put some solid context behind the interview before we dive in.
Leading into the Tafa fight at UFC Vegas 27, Jared Vanderaa said he was excited. How odd, for a UFC newcomer coming off a ground and pound KO/TKO loss in their debut. Yet, at 0-1 in the UFC, Vanderaa was confident leading into the matchup. Many would surely be anxious, and the pressure of losing your debut fight in a promotion that’s shown they won’t hesitate to make the cut would have to be weighing heavy on anybody in that situation. Yet, Vanderaa said in a past interview with Overtime Heroics after his debut loss: “I got the nerves out, and I’m excited for this next match,” and boy, did he show in the fight that he was truly excited!
Many believed Vanderaa’s ground game would be too much for Tafa, yet “The Mountain” made it clear he was there to stand and trade. Not only did he avoid getting finished by Tafa (who’s made a career off of being a knockout artist) but Vanderaa actually looked very impressive. It was a truly stunning performance, and if you weren’t a Jared Vanderaa fan, you should be now.
Displaying an iron chin, a very active standup game with flowing combos, and glimpses of a fearsome Muay Thai game, “The Mountain” made a statement at UFC Vegas 27. Showing that his standup is something to fear, and he is coming for these top contenders. Now, without any further ado, let’s dive into the interview and catch back up with Jared Vanderaa!
Jared Vanderaa Interview
So, coming off a loss to Spivak, talk to me about your mindset leading into your second UFC fight. Was there a ton of pressure on you? Or like you said, after getting the nerves out your first fight, were you a lot more comfortable walking into this one?
Jared Vanderaa: Yeah there was less pressure for this fight and I’m glad that I got the Spivak fight past me now. I felt ready for the fight with Tafa.
I was of the belief that against Tafa, your easiest path to victory could be just to utilize that great grappling of yours and maybe find a ground and pound finish or a submission. Talk to me about why you chose to stand and bang with him for three rounds, and if you went against your coach’s game plan for the fight?
Jared Vanderaa: Well the plan was to take him down but I felt like I was landing more and was finding my rhythm and when we clinched I felt his strength. When I did that, I was like: ‘I think he was prepping his ground’, so I just continued my stand up.
So, enough with the fighting stuff for now. Talk to me about your life outside of fighting. What does Jared Vanderaa do when he’s not in the gym sharpening his deadly skills, or out in the octagon putting them on display? Any favorite hobbies?
Jared Vanderaa: Well my hobbies are basically listening to way too much music, watching anime, build gunpla (Gundam), and playing games. Outside of that, I’m just usually being a parent.
As a big boy myself, I love to eat. Let’s talk food. What’s your favorite kind? Or are you like me and just kind of down to munch on whatever? Talk about what your diet looks like when you are cutting weight for a fight as well, please.
Jared Vanderaa: I love Mexican food, by far my favorite food to eat. But when I am gearing up for camp I usually eat red meat with veggies for dinner, oats in the morning, and lunch is just a repeat of dinner.
You called out Ben Rothwell after your fight, and Rothwell has recently taken to the BYM podcast and stated, “I take that s*** seriously… I spoke to Mick (Maynard) and he said ‘we’ll see’”
So I’m curious, has the UFC reached out to you about a potential fight with Rothwell yet? And explain why you believe that’s a good fight for you, and how you guys matchup stylistically.
Jared Vanderaa: Yeah, they haven’t reached out yet. And I’ve been told I am not allowed to fight until September or after my daughter is born (Wifey’s words) I called him out because we just both fought on the same card, and we are both in the fight business so I was like: ‘hey easy turn around for both of us.’ And let’s be real for a moment, that is motherf****** Ben Rothwell, that would be awesome to share the cage with someone like him.
So, what an interview, right? Huge shout out to Jared Vanderaa for taking the time to do this once again! It’s so amazing to talk to this guy and you’ve really got to love his unshakable confidence and overall mindset. To think, being relatively new into your UFC career and wanting fights with legends like Rothwell. That just demonstrates how truly game “The Mountain” is, and we are all lucky to be able to witness this rise.
Make sure to keep up with Jared Vanderaa on all of his social media platforms, and be apart of his journey to the top!
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Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images