The main event of BRACE 51 will see Jesse ‘Funky Cold’ Medina, a man with a wealth of experience and a mean submission game, face-off against the two-time Brace champion, Jamie Mullarkey. Since turning pro, Jesse has picked up eighteen fights, most of them in the last three years, and has built an impressive overall record of 12-6. You only need to look back to early 2017, when Jesse submitted Jack Jenkins with a slick armbar from guard, to understand that he’s a threat wherever the fight goes.
Being a well-rounded fighter, Mullarkey should provide Jesse with the opportunity to show off all the skills in his toolbox. When these top-ranked featherweights meet, fans won’t be disappointed; expect both men to look for the finish.
With just over a week until showtime, we caught up with Jesse…
Jesse: I’m still training pretty hard leading up to it. I’ll probably taper off a little bit towards the end of the week and start of next week. But still going at it pretty hard. I don’t really do training camps, I just make sure I stay fit year round, so I can take fights short notice. I’m ready no matter what happens. I still cut a little bit of weight, but my fitness is always up there and I’m always pushing forwards.
The Neversphere: And what gym are you training out of for this fight?
Jesse: I train at Mildura Fight Team. I also head up to the local boxing gym, Fighting Fit Boxing Gym. I’ve been getting in a bit of sparring over there.
The Neversphere: It’d be good to know, what got you started in mixed martial arts and what has kept you interested in the sport?
Jesse: I started off playing footy and just wanted something to keep fit during the foot off-season. I started doing cardio-kickboxing, then moved on to MMA and BJJ. I had a couple of amateur fights and then turned pro. I just really enjoy competing, it keeps me fit, and MMA is the ultimate competition. You can test yourself to the extreme.
The Neversphere: What do you make of Jamie Mullarkey’s skillset and do you think your ground game will play a significant role in the fight?
Jesse: He’s a well-rounded guy, he’s got a lot of experience. You don’t get a record like his without fighting good guys and doing really well. He’s a two time Brace champion, so it’s going to be a good test for me. And I’m looking forward to it, it’s a matchup I’ve been wanting for quite a while.
I am comfortable with my ground game, I’m getting more comfortable with my striking too. I’m looking to control the fight from the start and I’ll take it where ever I want to go.
The Neversphere: I know you won’t want to look past Mullarkey, but should everything go to plan, what’s next for you in the immediate future?
Jesse: If everything goes to plan and I’m injury free, I’m looking to fight again. I’m managed by One Out Fighter Management with Suman Mokhtarian, he organises my fights for me, he’s a really good guy. He helped me get this fight with Jamie, he knows what I’m about and he’s happy with me fighting as much as I can, so I’ll have a talk with him after.
The Neversphere: We cover music and gaming, as well as MMA at the Neversphere. So I have to ask, what’s your walkout song going to be on Saturday night?
Jesse: It’s going to be Funky Cold Medina by Tone Lōc, it’s what I always walk out to.
The Neversphere: Yeah, I had trouble picking the song. So, that’s where the nickname ‘Funky Cold’ comes from?
Jesse: [Laughs] Yeah, exactly!
The Neversphere: That’s perfect. What about video games, what are you playing at the moment?
Jesse: I’ve got a five-year-old son, so we play together quite a bit. We’ve got an Xbox 360, PS4, a Wii, but the main game we play together is Halo.
The Neversphere: A classic bit of father-son bonding!
Jesse: Yeah, we get to kill aliens together [laughs].
The Neversphere: Thanks, Jesse. Best of luck for the 28th!