Paul Costanzo: Justin Jaynes comes home to fight

Justin Jaynes is coming back to Michigan for the biggest mixed martial arts fight of his career.

Jaynes, a 2007 graduate of Richmond High School, will fight on a Bellator card on Sept. 12 at Compuware Arena in Plymouth. He will battle Ruben Baraiac at 145 pounds.

“I’m really excited,” he said. “There’s nothing like fighting near your hometown and doing it for a big organization.”

Jaynes is 5-2 as a professional, with all of his wins coming by stoppage. Both losses were decisions, including his fight on June 21 against Jimmy Spicuzza in the World Series of Fighting.

A fight against Baraiac was actually supposed to be the first professional fight for Jaynes, but he was injured leading up to it and the fight was canceled.

“He’s a tough dude,” Jaynes said. “He’s 5-1, and I was actually supposed to have my pro debut against him, so this is a long fight in the making. We’ve fought on a lot of cards together, so we’re very cordial with one another.

“He’s a hard-nosed grinder, a really good wrestler. … I feel like he’s going to try to press the pace on me, put me against the cage and grind me for 15 minutes, so I have to put hands on his face and keep him off me.”

Jaynes, an All-State wrestler at Richmond who continued with the sport collegiately at Olivet, fights out of Xtreme Couture gym in Las Vegas. He was scheduled to fight this weekend, but the match fell through. Not long after, the opportunity with Bellator came up, as his local ties and strong professional start made him an attractive option.

“Pro and amateur are pretty much exactly the same, and I had so many amateur fights, nothing has really surprised me,” Jaynes said. “Everybody thought I might (feel more pressure) with the fights being streamed online, but honestly, I felt more comfortable in front of a bigger crowd and more people than I do in smaller shows.

“I’ve been putting in the time and effort going on seven years, and I feel like I’m deserving of being in front of those crowds.”

Jaynes is moving closer to his dreams .

“My family wasn’t the richest family, and we couldn’t do everything we wanted,” he said. “My whole point in moving out to Vegas was to give back to my family. To make a name for myself and get to the point where I could give back to my family for everything they’ve done.”

Bellator fights are televised on Spike TV and streamed on the network’s website.

More Stories

High school football coach at the center of prayer debate gets reinstated, receives $1.7 million settlement

Kennedy was terminated from his coaching position after he continued post-game prayers with students.

Read the full article

Insane Maine HS basketball finish features 4 lead changes in final 21 seconds

The Maine high school playoff game between Thornton Academy and Bonny Eagle had one of the most exciting finishes of the season.

Read the full article
Elijah Moore

Watch: 4-star SG Elijah Moore makes his commitment to Syracuse

Watch Moore announce his decision.

Read the full article
More News