Jordan Mein on switch from UFC to Bellator: ‘I basically got recruited’

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – The circumstances surrounding Jordan Mein’s promotional debut are different than expected – but that doesn’t mean he’s not enjoying the ride.

Despite co-headlining Bellator 242 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mein (31-12 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) is relieved to finally be on the grounds during fight week.

“It feels great,” Mein told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “I’m excited to kick off this new chapter here.”

Mein had ups and downs during his five-year, nine-fight UFC career, where he went 5-4. After his July 2018 win over Alex Morono, Mein entered free agency. Soon after, he signed with Bellator.

“I basically got recruited, really,” Mein said. “It was a good opportunity for me and I took it really. I ended up having a couple knee surgeries. I blew my knee out a couple of times. That kind of took some time – then, the process of just getting all this done. It just took that much time. That’s kind of what happened. I was looking to get in there but this was just the time it took.”

What made Mein choose Bellator over the UFC? After consulting his father, coach and manager, Lee Mein, felt he said the conclusion was reached that the upside was greater with Bellator.

“It was more of an opportunity,” Mein said. “My old man was talking with them and it all just came together. We kind of just made that decision.”

Mein makes his promotional debut against on Jason Jackson in the Bellator 242 co-main event. The event takes place at Mohegan Sun Arena with the main card set to air on Paramount and stream on DAZN following prelims on MMA Junkie. The fight between Mein and Jackson was originally targeted for May, but was delayed due to Bellator’s coronavirus-induced hiatus.

“We were supposed to fight in May and then obviously all this stuff kicked off,” Mein said. “I’ve been watching him for a little while – and watching his training videos with his coach there. It’s a tough opponent. I’ve been watching some of his fights in Bellator – and the LFA fights. I didn’t see his Contender Series fight but he’s a solid opponent. It’s going to be a good challenge.”

The Bellator welterweight title gold is in consideration when it comes to goals at his new home, but Mein said he hopes to put on entertaining fights along the way.

“I want to put on some exciting fights,” Mein said. “It’s easier said than done. We’ll see what happens on Friday here. I’m going to try to make that happen. Putting on exciting fights and really walking away after every single fight and being satisfied with myself and that I went in there and did my best.”

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