When you watch Jason Andrada fight you notice three things right away; he loves to fight, he is a warrior and he seems to always have fun in the ring. He also very respectful of his opponents and the sport of Muay Thai. This is why he is one of the most popular emerging Muay Thai fighters in the U.S. today.
He also has an easy smile and one of the best mullets in combat sports today. It is truly mesmerizing in its awesomeness. After dropping a strangely scored decision to Mohammed Lemjerdine at Lion Fight 15, Jason took the time to talk about the fight, food, the sport of Muay Thai and a little on how is saved his life.
Jason’s easy smile often leads to his laugh. He comes across as easy-going outside of the ring. He does not fit the stereotypical fighter image that many people have of a testosterone fueled person who is always looking for a fight. When asked if was naturally an aggressive person he laughed and said:
I have never been in a street fight. In fact, before Muay Thai I had never been hit. I started training in September of 2006. Before that I would go to school, play some Magic (card game), go to Jack in The Box, play some more Magic, go home play some video games, watch TV, stay on the computer for a while and then go to sleep. That was my life before Muay Thai.
I asked him what got him into the gym that first day:
Constantly looking at myself in the mirror and seeing how fat I was…You have a lot of people that have gone down the wrong road with drugs and alcohol. For others they would have ended up in jail or dead; instead they found Muay Thai. My story would have been me being 600 pounds and bed ridden if I had not found Muay Thai.
Many people go through that same struggle but do not find something like Muay Thai. Jason not only found the sport but he excels at it. He fell in love with it. You do not fight like Jason does if you do not love the sport.
You see it when he gets hit solidly by an opponent. The way he smiles, nods his head and comes forward. It is not one of those ‘you did not get me, you did not hurt me’ kind of smiles that you see so many fighters give in the ring. Instead it is more of a respectful, nice shot this is going to be a fun time, kind of smile.
Along with the joy for Muay Thai it is easy to see the respect he has for the sport and his opponents.
I am friends with almost all of my opponents, I even added Mohammed on Facebook. A lot of good friends are former opponents: Ryan Radcliff, David Huerta and Eric Luna. There are so many guys that I am friends with that I have fought before.
I always have respect for my opponents. I do not like trash talking, I do not like it when my opponents friends try to trash talk me. That is one of the big reasons I do not want to fight anymore American fighters. I do not like looking on their Facebook and seeing I’ll kick his ass and I am like dude I know you. Maybe it is something I have to get used to…if it was a guy from another country I would not care. It is weird I know.
All of my opponents have been really really cool. I lost to David Huerta and afterwards we were like, man that was a freaking awesome fight. They all have been really nice guys that I have fought but in the ring it is business.
His record and KO percentage back that up. This loss to Lemjerdine was his first one as a professional leaving his record at 5-1 with 4 of the wins coming via TKO/KO.
Here are some of his thoughts on the fight itself and his strategy:
I was told not to knee to the body. In the first fight when we clinched up I got a few knees in but not too strong and he timed them and swept me. So we were trying to keep a lower base I was strictly going for just the legs. When a guy is so tall I knew that any knees I threw up there were not going to be damaging. They might be annoying and even score some points but they are not going to be super effective.
So, why not go for something that is easier and going to be a lot more effective in tearing up that leg. The game plan was to take away his base. I was focused a lot on kicking that leg and then in the clinch kneeing the hell out of those legs. That part of the game plan I think I followed pretty well.
He did hammer Lemjerdine’s legs throughout the fight. They could have played a part in Lemjerdine slowing down in the third and fourth rounds. It was a testament to Lemjerdine’s toughness that he fought through the leg kicks. His leg seemed to have added a fifth muscle to the quadriceps. It was also extremely red up and down his lead leg.
I always play the outside with this guy. In the first fight I was more on the outside. I thought he was going to try and elbow me. So, I did not want to go in and get caught with an elbow, I did not want to get in on that range if I did not have to and I tried to stay a little bit more on the outside keep him busy with the hands up top and then get those legs.
I noticed that Mohammed was being a lot more cautious. I knew it was going to go one of two ways, either he was going to go crazy on me because he wants retribution or he was going to fight me cautiously. It ended up being that way but I did not want him to catch me rushing in. I was not sure if he was timing something. I was trying to time him as well…If I rush in and slip on an elbow I could have been on the receiving end of a knockout elbow.
In the first fight he was really aggressive and kind of reckless. He got caught in the first, third and last round. They planned a lot off of that and stuck to it that was awesome for him that he could do that. I always respect an opponents skill level if he can get the better of me than that is awesome.
His impressions of the fight:
I thought that it was going to be pretty tough coming back from the two knockdowns in the first round. In that round I was a little late on getting comfortable in the ring but in the second one I found my groove. I did not flow as well as I have in the past. Maybe it was being uncomfortable. I do not want to give any excuses to it. I felt comfortable the entire fight after the first round. I felt like I could see shots coming. I was able to grab the kicks. I knew what was going on.
They came in with a good game plan…That is what happens…I talked to them afterwards. I told them that I thought you were going to try and come in and cut me open to get that revenge. They said we were trying to keep our distance and that is what they did. Mohammed really stuck to the game plan and it worked out for him.
I have lost before, it’s not too much of a big deal as long as I put on an exciting fight for everyone watching. That is more important. An exciting fight, win or lose, is still better than winning a boring one.
Even though he is friendly and respectful with his opponents he still experienced something different for this fight.
They had us staying in a hotel where we had to take a shuttle to the main casino. It was just five minutes or so from the casino we were staying in. They had Mohammed and I in the same hotel. He is super cool so I did not mind it, I just thought it was kind of weird. Then, we are taking the same shuttle bus to the fight together and people are talking to him on the bus asking him is he was fighting tonight and that they would be rooting for him. I am sitting over there watching this and cracking up. I was like “please ask him who he is fighting,” but they did not.
Some fighters do not like to think about their losses. They try to put them out of their mind as quickly as they can but Jason is the type of fighter who understands that the only way to improve is to fix the holes in his game. He is hungry to get better.
As soon as I get a copy of it i will watch it and see what was good and what do I need to work on. That is all I can do to improve. Win or lose you have to learn something from the experience. If you win and you do not learn anything, what is the point? If you lose but you learn something that can improve your game for the rest of your career that is so much more valuable than a meaningless win.
If you knock somebody out in the first minute of the first round of the fight you never even really got started. Yeah, you got a quick knockout but did you learn anything? This was an awesome experience and I am glad Mohammed came in with a strong game plan because fighting a tough guy that takes his game to you, that can only make you better. It is not going to do me any good if I fight a bunch of scrubs to pad my record.
I want to challenge myself and see if I can hang with the best. I want to fight new people. I want to fight international fighters, picking my level and start fighting tougher guys. I know Anthony (Castrejon) wants a rematch and everyone will want Mohammed and I to fight again but I want to fight somebody I have not fought before.
As far as what is next for Jason he will be busy just not fighting for a little while.
I am not on the July card so my next fight will be in October. I am going to focus first on training after I spend my week getting fat. Then get back on my diet and become faster and stronger. I will have a lot of time to train for the October card. I will teach seminars, teach privately and more classes to make a little money that way. I do not do much teaching the month before a fight because I need to be selfish with my time and then after the fight I can’t wait to get back to teaching…I love teaching anyone that comes to me and wants to learn.
I have a seminar coming up in Arizona with Team Universal on June 6th and 7th. It is open to anybody that wants to come on down. After this fight somebody was actually taking to me about flying me out to New York to a seminar. It is awesome that someone just saw me lose and they still want to do a seminar for them.
It is not surprising to hear that someone would want to do a seminar with Jason after his fight with Lemjerdine. It was a closely contested battle and really could have gone either way. What was clear is that both fighters were highly skilled and had great Muay Thai techniques.
When it came time to thank people Jason had a lot of them. It shows the kind of person Jason is and why he draws people to him.
I would like to thank Lion Fight for increasing the popularity of the sport we love and a big thanks to Scott and Christine for another great event here at Foxwoods. Huge thank you to my main trainer Kru Jong (the BAD KOALA) for putting so much of his time and energy into training me. He makes me feel like the number one priority when it comes to fight camps. We train so hard everyday with dozens of rounds a week on pads, supervising my bag work, going over videos and game plans, and awesome Thai massages. I owe so much of what I have accomplished to him.
Big thank you to Skip and everyone at Fight Capital Training Center. This is where Kru Jong and I teach and the gym is like a family. Everyone is always supportive of each other. It’s really motivating.
My girlfriend back home in Vegas always there supporting me and my dream. It gets tough when fights are coming up and I am always in the gym. Also, I do not go to bed until 4 in the morning and she has to get up at 7 to go to work it can get pretty tough, but I am not fighting until October so I have time to make that up to her. It is so hard, I don’t go to bed until 4 in the morning and then waking up at noon and that is just the way it has been going for a couple of years now when I fight and all of the chaos around it. I don’t know what I am going to do when I have kids. A lot time I hate being up at three o’clock in the morning running she hates it too but we get through it and I make it up to her after the fights. She supports my dream.
I want to thank Coach Kirian from CSA he has always supported me, takes care of me when I am there I love going to CSA to cross train to work with all of the guys there Eddie, Gaston, Zoila, Stephanie and Kevin.
Kevin is another big motivation of mine always helping me out with advice, always helping me train better. He is actually the one that really inspired me and motivated me to keep my weight down and watch my weight. Go crazy for a week but afterwards its back to business. The motivational talks with him have really helped me out.
Then Mark Beecher who taped my hands for this fight he is the best hand wrapper and he has always supported me since Master Toddy’s. His first words of advice for my fight was don’t blow my load. Yeah, Mark Beecher, Kevin Ross, Chas Mulkey and Dale Sitiwatjana have been whooping my ass since day one.
Oliver Capistrano with Occ Ink who makes my “Ridiculous Nation” shirts. Shannon with Muay Thai Addict who makes my custom fight shorts.
I’d like to thank Dave Harris. He has helped me out with a lot of my traveling and is super supportive of the Muay Thai scene. Also, Andrew Jacobe, who helped me with my strength training for this fight.
VOIP Dragon and Robert Navone who have been helping me out for a couple of years now. Flip and Pono from Fight Life Media who made me a super sick highlight video.
Steve with Beach Hut Deli who hooks me up with the most ridiculously awesome sandwiches. Seriously, if you haven’t tried them you need to! Plus they also held a fight party so all my friends and family in Vegas could watch the fight – thank you for that.
And the guys from Can’t Stop Crazy: Kevin Ross, Chaz Mulkey, Joe Schilling, Tiffany Van Soest, Ky Hollenbeck, Romie Adanza, and Miriam Nakamoto. They are hella motivating.
And my biggest thank you all my fans and everyone that has supported me on my journey. You guy’s motivate me to fight hard and put on the best show I can. Thank you for supporting Ridiculous Nation.
You can and should follow Jason on Twitter @ridiculousj702