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JENKINS: 'I'm just here to relieve people of their health' Print E-mail
Written by Ben Pherson   
Saturday, 13 May 2017 20:56

American Top Team of Savage standout Brandon "Twitch" Jenkins has stepped up on short notice to face Dan "The Hitman" Moret at LFA 12 on Friday night at Mystic Lake Casino. The big Minnesota showdown will be televised nationally on AXS-TV.

Jenkins (10-4) stepped up for injured teammate Ashkan Morvari to square off with Moret at 155 pounds. Jenkins enters the fight ranked No. 5 at 155, while Moret (11-3) is No. 3 at 145.

Jenkins is one of the toughest guys to finish in Minnesota, and he features a well-rounded game with strong standup skills. We caught up with him over the weekend to find out how he's preparing for his second LFA appearance.

Most of us in Minnesota know why your nickname is Twitch. But can you explain it for those who don't?

JENKINS: My coach Eric (Aasen) gave me the nickname Twitch. I'm not a big fan of it, but a lot of people seem to like it. When I was 14, I almost died from a autoimmune disease called Gillain-Barre Syndrome. I was hospitalized for a couple months. I obviously made a full recovery, but I still have a lot

of damaged nerves and dead spots all over my body. I twitch a lot ... some days it's worse than others, but I make it through and I sometimes use it as a faint or setup in my fights.

You don't seem like you let your ailment slow you down one bit. But was there ever a time it did hold you back?

JENKINS: Funniest thing I always get asked is if I have (Tourette's Syndrome). It never fails! I get that at least once a month. Besides that awkwardness, chronic fatigue is one of the things I'll have to deal with forever. Sometimes I just hit the wall, and I have to just listen to my body and stay home from the gym. I'll sleep for like 16 hours lol.

You and I share similar music tastes. What are you walking out to Friday?

JENKINS: We do! It's all very high paced! I usually pick an album for each camp and roll with that all the way through. This two-week camp I've been listening to the Ramones. Hopefully, I can walk out to 'I Wanna be Sedated.' It really gets me going because I've been anxious to fight since January.

You're stepping up on short notice, filling in for injured teammate Ashkan Morvari. When you take a short-notice fight, do you have a different mental approach?

JENKINS: Yeah, Ashkan had a couple unfortunate injuries back-to-back in the weeks leading up to the fight. I've been there with him the whole camp, so I'm in pretty good shape, too. I'm just here to fight and have fun! No pressure on me at all.

Dan Moret is your opponent. What do you know about him and what will it take to get past him?

JENKINS: Yeah, Dan's good man. He's pretty well-rounded. There's not a lot of holes in his game. It's a real nice test for me. A lot of people are already counting me out, but that's when I do my best work. In my last fight, my opponent didn't respect my skill set, and it was a short night for him.

Watching your early fights compared to seeing you now, you seem more confident every time you step in the cage. Is that a big change in your game, do you feel more comfortable and confident now than say two years ago?

JENKINS: I've got a lot of fights, and I think the confidence just comes from ring experience. I have over 60 combined fights. Eric over at ATT likes to keep us active. Whether it's grappling matches, kickboxing or boxing. ... We got a alot of great jiu-jitsu guys at ATT; rolling with those guys and training under a BJJ black belt in Eric Aasen has really given me a lot of confidence in my ground game.

It could be argued you're one of the toughest guys to finish in Minnesota (it's only happened once as a pro). Does having that iron chin give you added confidence in the cage?

JENKINS: People always talk about my iron chin; man I gotta quit getting hit! What was the question again? Lol

You seem to be better after you get tagged once or twice ... agree?

JENKINS: I'm trying to get over my slow starting ... now I have my corner rough me up before I get in there, so I don't have to eat a couple knuckle sandwiches to wake up.

You're already 1-0 in LFA. Do you feel like a win over Moret would shoot you up the LFA ladder?

JENKINS: A win over Dan would be nice, but I'm not concerned about the Minnesota rankings, LFA rankings, championships or titles ... I'm just here to relieve people of their health.

Is 155 your home or do you see 145 in your future?

JENKINS: I will never fight at 145 again' I'm pushing 185 these days. Haven't you ever heard of Five Guys Burgers and Fries?

You train with the guys at ATT Savage. Why is that the best fit for you?

JENKINS: I love training at ATT; they have a lot of Augsburg wrestlers in there. These guys are ferocious competitors and the nicest people in the world at the same time. These guys are family, I love 'em.

Who have been your main training partners for this fight (not that you've had long to train for this one) and how have they helped?

JENKINS: It's been nice having Ashkan back in the gym; he's a world-class wrestler. It's given me a lot of confidence, being from Florida facing the Land of 10,000 wrestlers.

Would you compare your fighting style to anyone in the UFC?

JENKINS: A lot of people compare me to Carlos Condit or Shogun ... those are nice things to say, but I don't want to be the next anyone. I want to be the first Brandon Jenkins.

I'm sure all losses stink, but did one sting more than the others?

JENKINS: The Damion Hill fight stunk; I like Damion, he's a good guy and I didn't want to fight 'em, but a lot of tickets were sold and there was a lot of opponent changes ... oh well, you live and you learn.

And what do you feel was your best victory?

JENKINS: My favorite victory has to be over Billy Christianson. He texted an old girlfriend of mine after she lost her first MMA fight and told her to leave ATT and come to a real gym and train. So I chased him around for a year trying to fight him. Finally we got to settle it in January. He got what was coming to him.

You're still only 25; do you see yourself fighting for many years to come?

JENKINS: Yeah man, I'm blessed to be able to do something I love, especially after all the medical stuff I've been through. I have a lot of fights left in me; I'm on track to have 30 by the time I'm 30.

After Moret, is there anyone locally you'd still like to fight?

JENKINS: Locally, not really. I want to fight some legends or pioneers, someone with like 40 fights who's been around forever.

Being from the area and an employee at Mystic Lake, what's it mean to be able to fight there?

JENKINS: I still work security at Mystic Lake, and love it there and my bosses and coworkers loved watching me compete.

Any up-and-comers from ATT Savage to watch out for in the coming months?

JENKINS: Victor Cabadas and Josh Kohler should be going pro within the next year; keep an eye out for those exciting prospects.

Any other fights on the card you're excited to watch?

JENKINS: Jeff Peterson and Bobby (Lee) will be closer than people think. Fight of the night for sure.

How do you see your fight ending Friday night?

JENKINS: Me and Dan should be fun. He's going to try to sub me and I'm going to try to knock him out, should see a finish in there somewhere.

Finally, who would you like to thank?

JENKINS: I'd like to thank everyone at ATT Savage for helping me prepare, Especially Eric Aasen, Robbie Gotreau, Ashkan Morvari and Rob Quarry. Thanks Jeremy for letting step in and do this awesome fight.