A desire to inspire helped Corby's Jordan 'The Epidemic' Vucenic to world title glory
A desire to inspire is one of the key elements that has led Jordan Vucenic to world title glory.
The Corby mixed martial artist achieved his dream last Saturday night when he defeated French star Morgan Charrière by split decision to win the Cage Warriors featherweight title.
It has been a seven-year journey for ‘The Epidemic’ to get to this position.
After entering an MMA gym for the first time in his late teens, Vucenic’s rise as a professional has been fairly quick with his title success taking his record to 8-1-0 (Win-Loss-Draw).
His win sparked a flurry of messages of congratulations on social media from fans across the world, not least from his hometown.
With the fight being featured on UFC FightPass, Vucenic made the most of his opportunity.
And while the main goal of winning the title was achieved, the messages of support have shown Vucenic that he has become an inspiration for many.
“I always wanted to inspire people, that was the main thing,” the 25-year-old said.
“I have always said to young guys coming up in the gym that I wanted them to look up to me and I wanted to be the role model for them.
“It’s good to have that and it’s nice that people have called me an inspiration.
“I have even had high level fighters and people above me in MMA saying to me that they are looking forward to getting into the gym and working some of the stuff I did in the fight.
“It’s been a crazy few days and I guess that will only continue when it finally hits me.”
As far as the fight itself was concerned, Vucenic couldn’t have been happier with how it went.
The challenger started strongly and used his range and jab to bank the early rounds.
Charrière upped his game during the middle rounds but Vucenic maintained his composure and dealt with everything the Frenchman threw at him.
And it was Vucenic who got the verdict with scores of 6-49, 48-47, 48-47 from the judges to give him his crowning moment.
“I wanted to get in there and treat it like a sparring match,” Vucenic said.
“There were times when I got a bit ahead of myself and I had to tell myself ‘tone it down, get back to sparring’.
“The first round was like a sparring match to me, he couldn’t get close to me and that’s exactly how I am in the gym.
“If I have a rematch with him, it will be the first round all over again but it will be for the whole five rounds.”
Vucenic is set to defend his newly-won title in June but who challenges him is something that is yet to be decided.
It could be that ‘The Epidemic’ faces Charrière in an immediate rematch.
However, Irishman Paul Hughes could also be a potential opponent.
Hughes handed James Hendin his first defeat as part of the Trilogy events last week to put himself in line for a shot at the title.
Vucenic and Hughes are no strangers to each other.
The Corby fighter handed Hughes his first defeat by a split decision in another close bout last December with that win putting Vucenic in line for his successful title opportunity.
Vucenic believes it should be Hughes who gets the shot at him in June.
However, he knows outside influences could force a rematch with Charrière.
“If I am honest, the Paul Hughes fight is the more dangerous one for me,” the Corby star said.
“I do believe he deserves it but the French media have such a big way of swaying things that it may be the rematch with Morgan Charrière.
“It would be another hard fight but if I was in Paul Hughes’ shoes, I would be upset if Charrière gets the rematch against me.
“I believe the fight with Paul Hughes was the closer one and I believe he is the better fighter.”