March 5, 2020

Shuman vs Mitchell – Respect and No Fear

by Matt Fuchs in Posts

Shuman vs Mitchell – Who Said That?

There used to be a voice inside of Jeromy Mitchell’s head that held him back. 

That voice would crop up in the middle of an MMA fight, and sow doubt in Mitchell’s mind. The voice, Mitchell said, talked him out of a lot of wins that he felt he should have otherwise had. And, it was a voice that the 145-pound Mitchell couldn’t help but hear during a 2017 amateur fight in Tennessee, when his nose was broken by his opponent’s punches in the first round. Blood was pouring out of Mitchell’s nose for much of the rest of that fight. And, after taking the loss by unanimous decision, Mitchell would require reconstructive surgery for a deviated septum.

But, that loss was also about the time that Mitchell decided to stop listening to the voice as well.

“I stopped thinking about how I felt, and started thinking about why I lost—the technical aspect,” the now 23-year-old Mitchell said. “I started thinking about the whys of it, not the boo-hoo me part… separated the emotions from it…I’ve mastered the voice in my head. That’s no longer an issue.”

Shuman vs Mitchell – Turning the Corner

Shuman vs Mitchell

Since clearing his head, the West Virginia featherweight has turned pro, won both of his matches, and established himself as a dangerous opponent on the ground—with 11 wins between his amateur and professional careers coming by way of a rear naked choke submission. Yet, it is his striking ability that Mitchell (2-0) would like to put on display as he heads into the co-main event of the 247 Fighting Championships’ Brawl in the Burgh 3 on March 14. And, he couldn’t have found a better or more willing match than in Pittsburgh-based fighter Fadi Shuman to do just that.

“He’s a very high-level, highly-respectable opponent,” Mitchell said of Shuman. “His style is very complimentary of mine.”

Shuman vs Mitchell – Three Sided Figures

Complimentary is a bit of an understatement, as Shuman (3-1) is also looking to show off his striking ability after he too has carved out quite a reputation for himself with a particular submission—as all three of his consecutive, professional wins have come either directly off of a triangle choke, or were set up by the triangle. As such, Shuman, who fights out of The Mat Factory, has also been working on shedding the illusion that he is just a grappling and submission fighter. Shuman cross-trains with other local gyms, getting in extra striking work at The Academy of Martial Arts and Fitness, and honing his Muay Thai at Stout Training.

“I always feel like my striking has been strong, but I haven’t been confident,” Shuman said. “I feel like a striker now.”

Shuman vs Mitchell – Two Great Grapplers Means Stand Up

Shuman continued, “I’m really looking forward to standing and striking with [Mitchell]…I haven’t had an opponent to stand and strike with—especially one where I have the height and reach advantage. I feel like it’s going to play into my advantage.”

However, it’s also an element of the sport that Mitchell feels plays to his background as well.

“I really want to showcase my striking,” Mitchell said. “But, I haven’t really had anyone who can hang in there with me long enough to showcase my striking.”

Shuman vs Mitchell – How I Got Addicted

Mitchell works and fights out of Advantage Martial Arts in Princeton, West Virginia. He began to develop his striking at an early age, as he had dreams of becoming a professional boxer. He started boxing when he was about 13, and amassed an 8-1 amateur boxing record. It was then that he decided to help out an MMA fighter who needed a partner for a sparring session. He was 18, and the other guy already had some eight MMA fights under his belt, according to Mitchell. Mitchell said that he took his sparring partner down and (go figure) secured a rear naked choke during the session.

“I had that sparring match, then got a MMA fight two weeks later,” Mitchell said. “I came out with a win, and I was addicted.”

Mitchell said that he has no idea how he keeps sinking in all of these rear naked choke victories. The best that Mitchell can figure is that, once a fight hits the ground, his opponent usually winds up giving him position for the choke under pressure from continued strikes.

“It tends to be what you try to run from that you run into,” Mitchell said.

Shuman vs Mitchell – This is Going to be a Tough Fight

On the other hand, while Shuman has a healthy respect for what Mitchell has been able to accomplish on the ground, he also feels confident in his own abilities should their fight hit the mat. Shuman has focused on escaping from back-takes in his preparations for the fight. And feels secure in his own jiu-jitsu.

“I’m really not too worried about anything on the ground. And that’s not arrogance,” Shuman said. “Everywhere I see him, I think I’m better. But I’m not underestimating him by any means. I know this is going to be an extremely tough fight.”

Added Mitchell, who believes that he will win no matter which way the fight goes, “[Shuman is] either going to give me the TKO, or he’s going to have to turn and give up a submission…Hopefully it’s not another rear naked choke. But, if it is, I’ll take it…At the end of the day, I don’t have to explain how I win. I just have to win.”

Still, tapping to a rear naked choke, or any submission, is not an option that Shuman plans on pursuing. Nor is letting Mitchell win by referee stoppage.

“If anybody thinks they’re going to TKO me or make me quit, then they don’t know me very well,” Shuman said. “[Mitchell is] literally going to have to kill me to make me quit.”

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