Jonavin Webb Talks Memorable UFC Debut, Decision to Fight His “Friend” Kyle Noke
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although no fighter wants to lose their Octagon debut, if you’re going to have a defeat added to your record, then you may want it in the fashion Jonavin Webb incurred his at UFC Fight Night 65.
Webb took on rugged vet Kyle Noke at the May 10th event, and pushed the powerful welterweight for all three rounds, before receiving a split decision loss. Many outlets had Webb winning the bout, who had been tapped by the UFC in early April, as a replacement for the injured Andreas Stahl.
“I watched the fight about five times now, and of course I think I won, but the most important thing was that I felt like I had a great performance,” Webb relayed on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio. “Especially in the first and second round. A lot of people get the UFC jitters and I was just happy that I didn’t get that.”
“It’s a loss, but it was to one of my friends and if I was too lose to anyone, I’m happy that it’s Noke,” the former CFFC welterweight champ added. “He’s a veteran and a very tough guy, so of course I’m upset that I lost, but I think it’s going to be good for my career.”
The defeat was the first of Webb’s career, who had gone undefeated in nine straight bouts, before receiving a call from ZUFFA. The 26 year-old has been turning heads thanks to his wrestling and BJJ black belt pedigree, but he believes he also showcased other facets of his game at UFC FN 65.
“I’ve been working on my striking a lot, and I felt like I got to actually show that in this fight a little bit,” said Webb. “I felt good all around…I’m pretty happy with that. I think that the buzz from the fight, everyone, all the people from Twitter, even all the people from the UFC, I think they saw that my first fight was a little controversial and it made the light shine a little bit brighter for me.”
Webb refers to Noke as his “friend”, because the New Jersey fighter had been training with the Australian in New Mexico, just a few weeks before he was booked for the bout.
“I’ve been going down and training with “Cowboy” Cerrone at the BMF Ranch in New Mexico, and I was down with Kyle and we were training together for about a month….We lived together, we trained two, three times a day with each other, we played paintball together, we went scuba diving together, there were so many things that we did, and we were real friendly. He’s such a good guy.”
“The day I got home from Nex Mexico I got a call from my manager saying that I had got signed,” furthered Webb. “I asked where is it, and he said Australia, and I already knew because I was with Noke, and I knew that his opponent backed out…So I called Kyle, and I called “Cowboy” right away, and I was like man, I don’t want to take the fight but it was a huge opportunity. Noke was like man, you’d be stupid if you didn’t take the fight, you have to take it. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, we’ll get a beer after the fight…so I did.”