At UFC 221 in Perth, New Zealand Welterweight Luke Jumeau put on a display that epitomised the Kiwi fighting spirit.
Up against undefeated prospect Daichi Abe, Jumeau was forced to show a determination that is reserved for a breed of human that thrives in battle.
Despite being covered in blood and covering up on the canvas, Jumeau somehow mustered enough strength and courage to get back to his feet and signal to his opponent that he wanted more.
“I don’t think I was really hurt,” Jumeau said.
“It was more of, you know, he turned it on. I ended up in a bit of a bad spot.”
In those type of moments a lesser fighter could have easily curled away and looked for a way out. Instead, Jumeau showed that he is the type of fighter that can push through adversity and make it to the other side.
“I got caught, I overreached again and that’s how I fell to the ground and he swarmed a little. But straight after that I stood up and I was waving him on,” Jumeau said.
From that moment on, the tide had turned and it was Luke Jumeau’s fight.
Noticing that Abe had begun to tire, Jumeau started to pick up the pace.
“I started noticing him fading, even with the leg kicks I noticed him switching his stance quite a bit, trying to hide it too. Like not too switch to attack, but switching for defence,” Jumeau recounts.
Jumeau went on to convincingly win the second round, and nearly finish Abe in the third, earning himself his second UFC victory.
— UFC Aus/New Zealand (@UFC_AUSNZ) February 10, 2018
The win was a sweet one as Jumeau bounced back from his first defeat in over four years.
Now back in the win column, Jumeau wants to add some named opponents to his resume. A rematch with Aussie welterweight Jake Matthews or a dream fight with Donald Cerrone are names that come to mind.
“If that fight comes up with Jake Matthews, I will happily sign the paper,” Jumeau said
“I want to fight people on winning records and whatever is going to help catapult me up the ranks as soon as possible, even somebody like Cowboy Cerrone or something.
He’s had a couple of losses, just had a win. Something like that would be amazing for someone like myself, get a win over a big name and then start pushing from there.”
Luke Jumeau post fight with Jon Anik (credit – Huynh Nguyen (Emperor) / Fight News Australia)
With famed New Zealand kickboxing coach Lolo Helmuli now in his corner, Jumeau believes his striking skills will be sharpened enough to take on that calibre of fighter.
“He’s part of the family now, a part of the team. He’s got the big plans for the future as well, he messages me everyday and what we need to work on.
He’s amazing bro, he’s really really amazing. He sees things that most people don’t see and he sees it just subconsciously and picks up on little things. He helped me a lot this fight camp,” Jumeau said
Only time will tell if the bigger names will come, but after his recent performance at UFC 221, everybody knows that Luke Jumeau has the heart of a warrior.
My earliest combat sports memory is watching David Tua knock people out with his left hook. I am extremely passionate about combat sports in Australia and my home country of New Zealand and I endeavour to grow the profile of martial arts and its athletes in both countries. Persistent Brazilian jiu-jitsu battler.