Friday, November 17th, CES MMA 47 will take center stage at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI and will air live on AXS TV’s Fight Night. Prepared to make his television debut for his second professional MMA bout, John Douma (1-0) of Tri-Force MMA is ready to do what it takes to secure the win.
Opponent, Mark Trader (2-0) of Gym O in Ranlo, North Carolina, took the fight on just two weeks’ notice after a streak of unexpected changes to the roster just weeks before show time. Douma says that he has maintained his focus regardless of who will share the cage with him. “I don’t add pressure to myself or the circumstances,” says Douma. “Training is always the same. It’s after the fight that I’ll enjoy everything and all of the hard work.”
Douma is no stranger to hard work in the gym. Whether he is in an active fight camp or not, you can be sure to find him training diligently to improve at all times. “There is no camp really. I run more, diet better and am strict about general things in my lifestyle, but that is the only true difference. I train every day,” explains Douma.
But once an opponent is announced, gears begin to shift and a degree of attention is turned to tailoring the fight to a man who will be hunting for a victory of his own. “In the beginning, I just focus on myself, but then I will start to study the opponent and set a game plan for him,” says Douma. “Trader is a lefty and is tall for the division. He thinks he has a good BJJ game because he has some okay submissions but I don’t think he has a deep understanding of things the way that I do. He probably only took this fight because he wants to get on TV.”
With nearly identical amateur records and a winning start to each of their young professional careers, the matchup between the two seems logical. “On paper it’s a relatively even matchup,” says Douma. “But skill-wise, no. He doesn’t seem like he’s got a deep understanding of it all. He gets away with stuff because he’s fought okay guys who let him get away with it.”
Trader’s remarks within a recent interview suggest that he is willing to let things unfold in the cage and to go anywhere the fight takes him. Douma says that he will gladly accept that perspective. “He’s basically said that he’s going to let me control the fight. Sure, thanks. I’ll take that,” says Douma. “It’s also kind of a way for him to dodge the question about wrestling. In two weeks, you’re not going to build up the skills to deal with the fact that I’ve been wrestling for ten years.”
Douma’s skillset is sought after by high-level MMA professionals in the area who have brought him into their camps as training partners like Joe Lauzon and Rob Font. “This camp started at a time with me helping Lauzon and Font with their camps. Now that my fight is closer, the focus is back on me,” says Douma. “It’s a great base to start my camp with that experience. It instills great habits in you. You’ll learn to pick up your defense better and just to be better all around.”
The pressure of a television debut does not seem to be affecting the young fighter, as his sights are set on the win in the cage and nothing else. “For me, at this point in my career and at my age the only thing that really matters is the fight,” explains Douma. “It’ll be cool to look back at it and enjoy it, but right now it’s all about the win and to keep pushing to the UFC. This won’t be my last time on TV.”
CES MMA 47 goes live in Lincoln, RI this Friday at 7pm for the undercard. The main card will begin LIVE on AXS TV’s Fight Night at 9pm.