Jordan Grenyion-Smith picked up his first amateur MMA win at AOW 5 a little over a week ago; getting the job done via split decision. His win was largely the result of crisp leg kicks, overall striking and a knock down in the second round off a right cross. Immediately following his win Grenyion-Smith posted a video asking USKA to get him a fight for their upcoming March 3rd event- to be held at the Econo lodge in Allentown, PA. Grenyion- Smith had his wish/demand granted and will be making the two week turn around as he takes on Brandon Campbell in a kickboxing match. In his interview, Grenyion-Smith breaks down his MMA fight, motivation for doing kickboxing so close to his MMA fight, and his faith in Jesus Christ. Read his Q&A to learn more about Grenyion-Smith’s journey.
Describe how it felt to get your first MMA win?
It felt good initially, because while losing is a lesson in itself, I learned through application what it takes to get a victory in MMA. It takes having as many tools as possible, the experience and consciousness to know when to use them, and the endurance to use them repeatedly. After looking back at the fight, I’m not satisfied with my limited and misplaced use of my tools. I can, and will, do better next time.
What worked the best or felt the best for you in that fight?
I was able to manage range very well, using straight punches, teeps, and low kicks. I think that threatening the various submissions I attempted had an impact; a very small impact.
What in-fight adjustments did you make?
Realizing that my opponent would leave his lead hand with fingers pointed towards me, I knew it wouldn’t be smart to dash in and strike. The 3 or so inches added evened my punching range with his, so working around that was necessary. I expected the takedowns, but not as fast or from so far away.
You had a big right overhand cross that scored a huge knockdown in the second round. What do you remember of that exchange?
For some reason, he felt brave to charge forward at that moment. I stepped back diagonally and misjudged the distance of the cage behind me, so I began circling to my right. He continued to pursue with his head unprotected. I got a bit frustrated and threw that punch.
You took a fight for USKA two weeks after your MMA win for a quick turnaround. Do you want to stay as active as possible?
Absolutely. There is a level of patience that one needs in this sport, I have suffered from lack of that as shown in my first ever fight/loss back in 2013. But, there is also a confidence gained that comes from living in my God-given purpose as an instructor and athlete, and consistently training and stretching my comfort zone. Most fight communities in other areas of the world compete quite regularly, because of how often they train and how dedicated they are. I won’t know how far I can go if I don’t have faith. I’m a child of God; I don’t need wins or losses to define my worth. But I can’t let my years go by without trying my best to go where the challenges are greatest.
You are very vocal about your faith in Jesus Christ whether you win or lose. How does that tie into your fighting?
It ties in with everything I do and experience. I believe that God loves me because of what He’s done for me and how He does it. He isn’t a genie who grants wishes. He’s a Father who will guide and instruct. He gives us abilities to love others with, a purpose to live. Like Jesus’ purpose to come to this earth to live as an example of the loving relationship between us and God, my given purpose is to use the strength and experience I have to empower others. He became the bridge through life, death, and resurrection between us and God, so I can be a bridge of love and encouragement to my students, family, and even my opponents.
Mentally do you like MMA or kickboxing better?
I think that they are both challenging in their own unique ways; in MMA, I need more tools to survive and control the pace and location of the fight; in kickboxing, I use fewer tools but they must be honed for narrowed effectiveness. I appreciate both, and I plan to compete in both for as long as I can.
How has the experience of being a boxing instructor for the Ambler YMCA impacted you and your love for fighting?
I love what I do; while it’s not a living yet, I feel alive serving others. It’s a huge blessing seeing people from all walks of life interact in that facility. To be able to impact and empower them in a small way, I am grateful. To see someone who has never thrown a punch throwing flowing combinations by the end of the class is a huge blessing to witness. As a teacher of a fight sport, I am constantly going over basics and what to do/what not to do. It helps to summarize movements, and innovate new ways to practice. It encourages me daily to work there; it affirms my true life dream.
Thank yous and shout outs.
I want to thank God, of course, for providing me with all that I needed to train, for providing nutrition and health, and an opportunity to showcase my passion in a healthy way. I’d like to thank Christopher Beltrante of Beltrante Fighting Fit for being such a passionate and dedicated coach, for making his schedule flexible for my work pace, and for using his sphere of influence to connect me to knowledgeable people to improve and add tools to my fighting ability. I thank Troy “Whodabull” of GNAST and Omar Cruickshank of Crush Crew JJ for helping me improve my grappling and letting me practice against their great students. I hope to return more often. I want to thank my family and friends for their constant prayers and gifts, without them I would’ve lost sight and maybe my motivation. I will also thank everyone who came out to support my fight, for purchasing a ticket through me, and for believing in my ability and passion.