Light heavyweight contender Jordan Young chose to compete for the Professional Fighters League (PFL) over any of the other possible paths forward after his Bellator contract expired in 2019. Young, 26, from Urbandale, Iowa, revealed to Heavy why he picked PFL over the UFC and other organizations.
“I chose not to go to the UFC, or to entertain the UFC quite yet because I’m a young guy. I’m 26 years old. I personally would like to own some land, I’d like to own a house when I go into the UFC. That way my situation is a little more figured out, and I won’t find myself in any back-against-the-wall situations,” Young said.
You can watch the full interview below.
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Young Explains Choosing PFL Over UFC, Bellator and Others
Young (11-1) believes he’s on the way to competing in the UFC ranks someday, but he would like to create more financial stability in his life outside the cage before he gets there so that he’s not forced into making certain kinds of decisions.
He’s already sort of seen what that can look like. Young’s last fight with Bellator was a big stumble at the wrong time. He entered his final fight with the organization before pending free agency with a torn hip muscle, but he thought he could win his fight against Julius Anglickas anyway. He didn’t, and Bellator was ready to offer him lower pay for future fights because of it.
“After I took that first [loss], the numbers they were presenting to me, if I would have accepted them, that would have meant that Jordan Young’s stock went way down in the business world,” Young said.
But when the PFL came calling, the company presented a more rewarding plan. Young was offered more money per fight than he was getting with Bellator, more fights overall, and the chance to fight for $1 million every season.
On top of that, even during his impressive win streak, Young said he just didn’t feel like he was being promoted all that well by Bellator.
“My decision to leave Bellator…had a lot to do with the way Bellator was promoting me…I just felt I could have gotten a little more out of my Bellator time as far as marketing goes,” Young said.
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Young Competes at PFL 5 on June 17
Young heads into his bout against Tom Lawlor looking for a finish. PFL 5 is scheduled for Thursday, June 17 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The action begins at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+ and continues at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and ESPN+.
Young enters his PFL 5 bout with 3 points, but he’s not actually fought for the company yet after his PFL 2 fight fell through.
While Young got paid and grabbed three points for being ready to fight that night, he knows the PFL’s crowded standings in the light heavyweight division mean he needs to grab as many points as he can if he hopes to make the playoffs.
Six points for a first-round finish would be best. Five points for the second would be the next best thing. But any finish at all will be important.
“My back is a little bit against the wall just to get a finish,” Young said.
Young Plans ‘Triple Kill’ for PFL 5
Still, Young will enter PFL 5 in much better shape than Lawlor, an MMA veteran and pro wrestling star who lost to Antonio Carlos Jr. by first-round submission at PFL 2.
“His tournament hopes are dead already. He’s got no chance at finishing me in five minutes,” Young said.
When offered the idea that Young would be seeking to double kill Lawlor’s plans at PFL 5, Young said it would be more like triple death for Lawlor.
“Well, if we’re going to be honest, I’m going to triple kill him, because I think he retires,” Young said.
Young sees a bright future for himself, in the PFL and beyond. But he sees a much different path for his 38-year-old opponent, Lawlor. Young wants to retire him.
“Absolutely, it’s time to send him off into the pro wrestling world. Things have changed in the MMA world since he was a relatively active competitor,” Young said.
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