CORPUS CHRISTI, TX, May 1, 2012 – The first season of the UWF Tournament of Warriors kicks off this Friday at Corpus Christi’s American Bank Center and we will have a few interviews to go leading up to the historic event.
Up next is 9-4 prospect Jon Knutson.
A native of Rapid City, South Dakota, Jon has had an interesting road so far in life leading up to this tournament. It doesn’t seem like too long ago to him that he was a 320 lbs. 16 year old kid struggling to live a healthy life. He’d tried diets, visiting with nutritionalists, and everything to no avail in order to get his body down to manageable level but he never found anything that worked for him until he somehow made his way into an MMA gym after watching the season one finale of The Ultimate Fighter.
Fast forward five years and almost 150 lbs. later and here he stands, a 170 lbs. fighter with 9 wins to his credit ready to gun for the UWF welterweight title and the $25,000 cash prize at the end of the tournament.
We recently spoke to the midwest native prior to his opening round bout against Colorado’s Justin Gutherie (14-4) this Friday night in Corpus.
UWF Tournament of Warriors Interview – Jonny Knutson (Dynamic Martial Arts)
Start off by telling us a little bit about yourself. How old are you, when and why did you get into fighting, and why do you love the sport?
I’m 23 years old from Rapid City, South Dakota. I got into MMA when I was 16. I was extremely overweight, a little over 320lbs at the time, and saw it on TV. I told myself that if I lost the weight, I could do this. 18 months later I was fighting at 155lbs. I love this sport simply because it’s the purest form of competition there is. It’s an amazing way to test yourself.
How would you describe your fight career so far?
I’d say I’m still as a prospect. I’ve fought a couple guys who went on to the UFC but I haven’t really gotten that big breakthrough moment yet.
What do you think has made you into the person and fighter you are today?
My will power and determination had made me into the person I am today. It’s helped me accomplish a lot in my life and translates very well into the cage just because sometimes a fight will come down to those two things.
What do you do when you’re not in the gym? Any other hobbies?
I bartend at 2 different bars back in Rapid City and I go to college at Black Hills State University, to eventually become a Physical Therapist. I also enjoy doing CrossFit workouts at Black Hills CrossFit. When I’m not doing any of that stuff I usually like to just chill and relax, maybe watch a movie or play some video games.
Going back to the UWF tournament – what are your thoughts on competing in this event?
I was offered the opportunity for this by my management and decided to jump on it. I like the format because staying active and busy with your fight schedule can be a positive as long as you prep right for it.
How has prep been for this Friday night?
Camp has been going great! I feel in amazing shape and condition. I’d like to thank everyone who helped me at Dynamic Martial Arts and Black Hills CrossFit!
What would it mean to you to win the whole thing?
If I won this tournament, it would be a life changing event. It would be a huge feather in the cap of my career if I could do that. Not to mention, the $25,000 would be a nice little boost to the wallet.
Who are you fighting in the first round and what do you know about them?
I’m fighting Justin Guthrie from Colorado in the first round. He seems like a very well rounded fighter who’s dangerous in all aspects as well as a big guy. I’m very much looking forward to this challenge.
No predictions really but a finish would be preferred.
Any last words before this Friday night in South Texas?
Just thanks to all the guys who came down and helped me at Dynamic Martial Arts and Black Hills CrossFit back in Rapid City!
UWF Tournament of Warriors – Opening Round Brackets
UWFMMA – Lightweight Tournament
Gilbert Jimenez (5-4-1) vs. Scott Cleve (8-2)
Flavio Alvaro (14-5) vs. Chris Quitiquit (4-1)
Rey Trujillo (9-6) vs. Christopher Pecero (4-3)
Victor Hernandez (8-13) vs. Hector Munoz (10-4)
UWFMMA – Welterweight Tournament
Larry Hopkins (3-10) vs. John Malbrough (3-2)
Mitchell Whitesel (19-20) vs. Chuck Parmalee (33-13)
Shamar Bailey (13-6) vs. Lucas Pimenta (14-7)
Justin Gutherie (14-4) vs. Jonathan Knutson (9-4)