Jordan Leavitt is not your usual fighter. A self proclaimed ‘nerdy kid’ who reads over 100 books a year, the 25 year old splits his time between politics, barefoot running and being a student, oh and being an undefeated mixed martial artist signed to the worlds biggest promotion. Here’s everything you need to know about ‘The Monkey King’.
Career so far
Leavitt’s (7-0) MMA journey began in high school as part of the wrestling team. Initially quitting during his first year, he stumbled across The Ultimate Fighter on TV and immediately fell in love with the sport, re-joining the wrestling team and competing for the next three years.
The Las Vegas native enjoyed a fruitful amateur career, going unbeaten in four contests while competing under the Tuff-N-Uff banner. With three of these bouts ending via submission, Leavitt signed off from the amateur code with a win over Julius Decheenie to earn the vacant Tuff-N-Uff featherweight belt in March of 2016.
Not turning pro till October of the following year, Leavitt only had two fights in his first two years as a pro, both victories. 2019 saw him double his fight tally, submitting Ray Ostrander and Johnny Walker (not that one) both in the first round. Interestingly all four of these opponents were undefeated at the time and none of them have lost since.
Despite 2020 being a tough year for many, for Leavitt it has truly been a breakout year with three victories over increasingly better opposition since moving up to 155 lbs. A decision win over Izzy William in February was followed up with a win against the undefeated Jackson Wink prospect Leivon Lewis via second round anaconda at LFA 85.
This win earned the Syndicate MMA talent a shot on Dana White’s Contender Series. Facing Luke Flores, a man with experience fighting for Bellator and on the first season of the Contender Series, the 25 year old made short work of the Texan, submitting him at 4:15 of the very first round, earning a contract in the process.
Training with high quality black belts since the age of 15, it isn’t hard to locate where the lightweight is most dangerous. With five of his seven victories ending via submission and three of these in the first round, once the fight hits the mat the BJJ purple belt is at home.
In getting the fight where he wants it Leavitt relentlessly dives in on the takedown, putting that college wrestling background to good use. Once the fight is there he has superb top control, nasty elbows and can pass to advantageous positions swiftly, but is also comfortable pulling guard and giving up top position.
On the feet he’s very relaxed and has some flashy techniques which he uses exclusively to set up the takedown, safe in the knowledge a kick can be caught or a wild takedown stuffed as long as it brings him within range to bring the fight to the ground.
Leavitt has spoke in the past of his unease with having to hurt people, but now finds comfort in the fact fighting is an art form, and sees himself as a Picasso.
His UFC debut sees him face off with 37 year old Matt Wiman at UFC on ESPN 19. Wiman (16-9) made his UFC debut way back in 2006 and is currently 10-7 in the promotion. With notable wins over the likes of Cole Miller, Justin Buchholz and Thiago Tavares the American has amassed a large chunk of experience and on paper will undoubtedly be the toughest test of Leavitt’s career thus far.
With a huge 12 year age gap and the fact Wiman has only fought twice in the past six years with both of those being losses (UD to Joe Solecki and TKO to Luis Pena) Leavitt is unsurprisingly a big betting favourite. Wiman is yet to be submitted in his 16 year career, could Jordan Leavitt be the first man to do so?