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Collier gets a Titan of a call

By Brett Auten | Knuckle Junkies

The highly anticipated arrival of the Titan Fighting Championships debut event in St. Louis is approaching fast. The event, brought to the area with the help of Rumble Time Promotions, will be held on Sept. 21 and carried live on AXS TV (formerly HDNET). It marks the first time since Strikeforce was at the Scottrade Center in Dec. 2010 that a St. Louis MMA event was broadcast live on a major cable outlet.

One of the marquee matchups on Titan Fighting Championships 25 is Jake Collier versus Dustin Jacoby.

Jake Collier feels he not only can be, but is, one of the best middleweights in state if not the Midwest. He will get that chance on a Friday night at Dwight Davis Tennis Center in Forest Park, when he faces Jacoby. The fight features two of Mid-America's exciting prospects will be a major part of the 14-fight Titan card.

After running out to a 3-0 start in his pro career, Collier (5-1) then lost to Kelvin Tiller in the main event of the Jan., 2012 Fight Me MMA show. Since, Collier has put together two wins by barely breaking a sweat. If the object was to build his confidence back up, it worked as Collier trucked through his last two opponents, James Wade and Sean Huffman, winning with first round TKOs.

There will be nothing easy about defeating Jacoby.

Jacoby (8-2) had two fights in the UFC, losing both, in late 2011 and early 2012. The Springfield, IL-based Jacoby regained some his spotlight last month with a victory, his second straight, in the Cage Fury Fighting Championships middleweight title bout over Tim Williams.

The 23-year-old Collier, who is from tiny Cuba, Mo.,  talked with Knuckle Junkies about the opportunity before him, his rough start to the sport and how his time is now.
 
KJ: Dustin Jacoby has plenty of momentum behind him coming into St. Louis.
COLLIER: "He's riding high but I hope to derail that. He's a little too one-dimensional. He has big striking power in his right hand. It's already been seen that he can't hang with wrestlers. I'm not saying I'm going to wrestle him but I am going to mix it up and push the pace on him. I think that can be a way to break him. I'm going to be in his face. I don't think a lot of people have done that. I haven't had my opportunity to show my skills on a bigger show, but here it is. Hopefully it goes my way. I'm very confident. I think I can definitely derail him and take my step up."
 
KJ: Does it go without saying that this is the biggest fight of your career?
COLLIER: "I feel fine about it. I've fought under pressure every time. Let's turn it into a dog fight and let's see who wins because I'm not going to stop. He's been to that big show I haven't and he's going to be my stepping stone to get there."
 
KJ: There are some who say that this may be too big of a step up in competition?
COLLIER: "Come watch the fight and see who wins. If you don't believe in me, that's fine but watch the fight and see who comes out victorious because I'm coming to fight."
 
KJ: Do you still work full-time as a welder?
COLLIER: "Carrying steel every day."
 
KJ: I hear you are a new dad?
COLLIER: "I have a 1-year-old a big boy. It gives me a little edge to work harder. I want to give him things I didn't have. That's how it is."
 
KJ: What's your weight cut process like? Where do you like to be at?
COLLIER: "I'd love to be at '95 or less with a week out. I only walk around at 205, 200-pounds when I'm in good shape. Some guys cut from 215, 220 good for you. I'm not cutting that much weight. I know Jacoby is a big guy. He's taller than me but that's fine. Let's see who can go five minutes hard, let's see who can go two five-minute rounds hard, let's see who can go three five-minute rounds hard. That's going to be me."
 
KJ: What's the first thing people say when they find out you're a professional mixed martial artist?
COLLIER: "They say, You don't look like one. You seem like a laid back guy.' That's the thing. I don't walk around mad and angry. I'm an easy-going guy. But when it comes to fighting and competing I'm very serious."
 
KJ: What makes you a good fighter?
COLLIER: "I mix it up. I didn't wrestle for 10 years. I didn't box for 10 years. I just got thrown into MMA. I'm open to everything. Just a little bit good at everything. I've only been doing this three years. That's where I think I have an edge over other guys. You may know more than me but if it turns into a dog fight then I'm going to work harder than you.  That's how I look at it."
 
KJ: How did you team up with your coach/trainer Patrick Smith?
COLLIER: "I've been training with him for almost three years now. I was like 270-pounds, I was real big. I was going to fight heavyweight and then I saw how big heavyweights are and it was like, No way.' I started working out, trying to trim down weight and I ended up fighting my first fight at 205.  Just some guy let me fight on his show. A friend of mine knew Cage Champs (Smith's promotion) and I ended up fighting one of Patrick's guys and beat him. Patrick said if I ever wanted to train to let him know and his gym was literally four miles down from my house and ever since then we hit it off."
 
KJ: Did you even know the gym was even there?
COLLIER: "I didn't. I was a nobody. I was the independent guy fighting by myself and just working out of my garage. That's it. Just doing what I thought was the right thing to do. I had a buddy who knew some jiu-jitsu but it was basic stuff. But basically watching what other fighters did and thought if they do it, it must be right. I was always in decent shape but nothing like I am now."
 
KJ: It seems you two have gotten things going in the right direction?
COLLIER: "I wonder even how I won fights before because I was so dumb to the sport. I was so ignorant. I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't know how to cut weight right. And now I look back. My first day of practice with him I was just like; how did I ever win a fight?"

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