Jeff “The Inferno” Joslin Interview

Well, if you don’t know the name yet, you will soon as Jeff is on a mission and the sky is definately the limit with this Canadian.When one thinks of the name Jeff Joslin, many things come to mind as he is known in different martial arts circles for different reasons. Some may tell you of his Sport Karate titles. Some may tell you how he won the Pan Ams of BJJ and was the first Canadian to do so. Others might tell you he should be in the UFC. Well, if you don’t know the name yet, you will soon as Jeff is on a mission and the sky is definately the limit with this Canadian.

Jeff teaches martial arts out of Hamilton Ontario Canada. Like his father Jeff became a Karate champion in Canada and taught karate at his school. After watching the UFC, Jeff caught the Jiu-jitsu bug and became profficient in the art traveling to the United States and Brazil to seek out the knowledge which was not available otherwise in Canada.

Jeffs jiu-jitsu resume reads, Canadian Champion, Grapplers Quest and NAGA champion, Arnold Gracie World Champion and Pan American Champion.

After a long and successfull grappling career Jeff made his debut in MMA. And just like his grappling career, Jeff became profficient in the sport. Although Jeff suffered 2 very contraversial losses in his career, (to now UFC fighters Jon Goulet and Jon Fitch), Jeff is back to his wiinning ways as he recently became the APEX world MMA Champion scoring a first round TKO over Nuri Shakir. Jeff is a multi talented fighter who although has a black belt in BJJ, Jeff has also added some really good boxing and wrestling skills to his arsenal, which he has always displayed in each fight. Keep an eye out for more on the man who some call “the next GSP”———————————————-

1) Jeff, how did you first get involved in MMA?

-I guess I started martial arts before I can remember. My parents have pictures of me in the gym running around with gloves and stuff on when I was really small. My father Rick Joslin was a three time Canadian karate fighting champion. I have many memories of the hard workouts we would do in the kids classes and of course of the thousands of push-ups over the years that my dad dished out as punishment for me misbehaving.

2) They say that styles make good matches, what would you say is your style?

-My style is a blend of kickboxing, wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It doesn’t matter to me how a fight progresses because I feel comfortable in all aspects. I would never want to go into an mma fight with only one area strong and others weak, that would be like a professional golfer who can drive the ball very far but is terrible at putting the ball from close. I think this is the reason why one dimensional fighters can look amazing in one fight and then terrible in the next.

3) If you had a rematch with Jon Fitch what things would you try to different? Submission attempts, more ground and pound etc…?

-Jon is a tough fighter and our fight was full of action. I would definitely fight the same way as I did in that first fight. Keep the pressure on and react from moment to moment. I did what had to be done in that fight to win the fight despite having my teeth knocked out and my nose broken by a head butt in the first round. Technically I am a much stronger fighter than I was a year ago so I might do different things in those terms, but my mindset would be the same. I definitely won’t back off like I did when Jon motioned to the referee to stop the fight, that’s for sure. I made that mistake because I had never seen anyone do that and therefore I reacted too nicely.

4) It has been said that you have aquired some very good boxing skills. How does a person become proficient in one aspect in fighting and keep sharp in the rest?

-Fortunately I have been able train in striking arts since I was young, so I think that has helped my understanding of fighting range, timing, and the feeling of competing against another person. Many years ago I hooked up with a great trainer in Vito Brancaccio who has taught me so much about the intricacies of striking and the overall fight game. Vito is a huge part of my success in Mixed Martial Arts. I believe there is no secret to becoming multi-talented, just plain hard work.

5) What is your typical training regiment and with who do you train with?

-I train with some great people and coaches, other than that can’t say too much about the training regiment until I finish my fighting career (smile).

6) Tell the OTM readers about your title fight last weekend with Nuri Shakir.

-Well, the fight went pretty much how I had hoped and envisioned. As I imagined Nuri was very calm under pressure and had good evasion and range. I was able to use some movement to set up my punching. After landing a few stiff jabs I connected with a right hand which dropped him to the floor. I chased him up and ground and pounded out the KO. I tried a takedown somewhere in the fight looking to get the top position on the ground and maybe work for a submission. He prevented the takedown and I ended up on the bottom for a moment which surprised me because I had it pretty solid I thought. After watching the tape I realized his foot hooked on the bottom rope making him feel about 500lbs heavier than he was (smile).

7) Through Jiu-jitsu you became the first Canadian Black belt under Jacare in the Alliance Team as well as the first Canadian to get the gold in the Pan Ams of Jiu-jitsu. Do you feel your desire to compete in grappling competitions is now overshadowed by your MMA aspirations, or will you be on the grappling scene once again?

-I think it is difficult for me to compete in both because of my personality. I am a bit of a perfectionist so when I have an event coming up I want to totally focus and train the way I believe I need to for that event, whether that be a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu match, submission wrestling match or Mixed Martial Arts fight. I love competing in both grappling and MMA events but at this point I have to make the smartest decisions in terms of my MMA career. Training wise, however I think training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with the Gi is the most enjoyable and I hope I will be able to do that till I am and old man. (smile)

8) Who in your opinion is the best MMA fighter today? Best Jiu-jitsu Gi fighter? Best No-GI fighter?

-I think there are so many good guys out there in BJJ and submission wrestling, it would be very difficult to pick one top guy. I really enjoy watching Marcello Garcia in action because the guy is awesome and he is a very nice guy. I learned a lot from him during the time he spent with me and my students at our martial arts school.

9) There are many fighters who as part of there profession train full time. You on the other hand are a full time martial arts intructor. Is it hard being a head instructor of an academy and finding time to train yourself?

-Actually my situation is excellent in terms of me being able to train properly. My father takes care of the business aspects of our martial arts school, so I have plenty of time to train as often as I need to prepare for a fight. Also being an instructor forces you to think deeply about the techniques you are teaching. I believe the fact that I teach martial arts has made me a more technical martial artist overall.

10) Many fighters are confident in there abilities and do not worry about the outcome of the fight, or just simply try the best they can and leave the rest in the hands of God and the judges. Do you do either and if not how do you mentally prepare for a fight?

-I put my faith in my training. When I train hard and prepare perfectly for a fight, I feel ready to fight against anyone on the planet. A fight is a fight and anything can happen but when I am prepared I have no worries. One fifteen minute fight is much more fun than the many hours of intense training that we fighters invest in preparation for battle.

11) So, why are you called the inferno?

-I was sitting around with a bunch of friends drinking some beer and somebody said that I need to have a nickname. So everyone started throwing around names. They ranged from Dr. Jeckle, the monster, the gentleman (laughs) and many more bad ones. Somebody mentioned the Inferno. It sounded cool but we asked him why. He mentioned something about watching a huge fire from a distance attracts your attention but from close range it is deadly and you fighting to escape it. We stuck with that one from then on and it turned out to be a pretty cool concept in terms of making logos and stuff.

12) Did you find the transition from jiu-jitsu/grappling to MMA difficult?

-It felt really natural to blend my BJJ skills with my striking skills and it’s awesome to be able to use the strong positioning skills of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and then throw some strikes while in dominant positions. I think Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an important part of my skill set.

13) Do you think that training with the gi helps you in NHB?

-Yes, Definitely. There are many benefits to training with the Gi. It forces you to become very technical on the ground. It is much more difficult to avoid sweeps, chokes and arm locks with the gi on. I feel it also teaches you to use good technique and leverage as opposed to strength and speed. Then when you remove the gi or fight mma, throw the strength and speed back into mix and kick ass.

14) Do you have any advice for people starting BJJ/grappling or even MMA?

-I would say search out a good place to train and go in with a good attitude for learning. There is no quick way to become skilled, you have to put your time in and get tapped out a lot (smile). I like the analogy, like a lump of coal, years and years of pressure will turn you into a diamond on the mat.

15) People have called you either the phenom, or the next Georges St. Pierre. Why do you think theres alot of hype surrounding you and your fights

-I appreciate the support I have received over the years from all my friends, family and fight fans. I am constantly to improve my skills as a complete mma fighter not only so I can win my bouts but also so that I can put on some great fights for the fans. They are the fuel that has driven mixed martial arts to where it is today. If I can excite the fans with my fighting, I am happy regardless of bad decisions, bad referees or a “L” on my record.

16) What do you feel is your greatest asset as a competitor?

-I feel my mind is my strongest asset. I try to absorb everything that my coaches and trainers teach me and push myself harder for each and every fight or competition.

17) So, in closing, what can we expect to see in a fight with Jeff Joslin?

-I would say a lot of action, a well-rounded skill set and unpredictability. Many times you know exactly what a specific fighter wants to do before the fight even starts. I think that takes away a little bit of the excitement for the fans. Also, I will never go into a fight and hold back. From beginning to end I will give everything I have to finish the fight.

Anyone you would like to thank?

-Yes, first of all thanks to you Riccardo and Onthemat for having me do this interview. I always like checking out this site for updates and articles. Thanks to all of my training partners and my coaches Rick Joslin (, Vito Brancaccio (, Eric Wong (, Dennis Beitler, and Dave Mair. Also thanks to BudoWorld Fightgear ( and my friend James Procyk for all your help. Lastly thanks to all the fight fans out there for your emails and support.

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Riccardo Ammendolia