UFC’s Jonavin Webb Discusses Ground Game, Aggressive Approach Stems From “Fear of Judges”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Jonavin Webb may have come up short in his UFC debut, but the “Spyder” still demonstrated why he was widely considered to be one of the welterweight division’s top prospects heading into the bout.
Webb took on Kyle Noke at UFC Fight Night 65 on May 10th, and lost the tightly contested bout via split decision. Much of the interest tied to the 26 year-old fighter has been on account of his vaunted grappling game, which Webb put in motion against Noke.
What stood out in particular during the bout was the former CFFC champ’s constant hunt for submissions, even if it cost Webb a dominant position.
“It’s really funny because I did an interview right before my fight, and someone asked me about what’s my style,” Webb relayed in a recent Full Contact Fighter podcast. “I said I’m a finisher. I like to finish. No matter where I am I want to try to finish. There’s never a point where I just want to hold someone, or I make it boring, I want to finish. I said it’s because I literally have a fear of judges, and now everyone sees why I have a fear of judges.”
“You never know what they’re looking at, or who they’re rooting for. I hate judges. No offense to them, but it’s like I don’t want it to come down to them. I want it to be because I beat the guy,” Webb added. “So when I’m out there, at every single second that I’m in there, I’m thinking about ‘oh there’s a foot, I can go for that, oh there’s the neck, I can go for that’. There’s always something that I want to attack. I’m not always going to get it, but I’m always thinking about attacking. I’m never just thinking about holding the position.”
Of course, for years now, fighters who opt to maintain top position and just win rounds, rather than finish fights, have incurred the wrath of fans. This discontent has also become prevalent throughout the grappling world, and as a result, submission focused events have been created. Competitions like Metamoris, have in turn, provided big stage opportunities for grapplers who look to finish, rather than score points.
“Ya, hopefully we see more,” said Webb, when asked if he’s optimistic that the new wave of submission focused competitions could bring more aggressive grapplers to the UFC. “I’m a grappler, but I hate watching fights that are boring like that too you know?”
“I love watching that kind of stuff,” the BJJ black belt furthered, while discussing events like Metamoris. “I’d actually love to compete in it one day…I used to work a lot of grappling all the time, and I felt like my jiu-jitsu was really, really good, but now I’ve been focusing a lot on striking because that was my weakness. So, if I was going to do one of those big tournaments, I’d have to kind of focus on jiu-jitsu for a little while, and get back to, not point game, but more of that traditional jiu-jitsu style.”
For more on Webb, and his thoughts on his split decision loss to Noke, head here.