Road to Dynamite : Jordan Dowdy
The path to success isn't always easy and often there are bumps in the road.
For Jordan Dowdy, he was presented a golden opportunity with Bellator after only two professional fights. Dowdy was matched-up with another impressive welterweight, Adam Meredith, in a preliminary fight at the Scottrade Center as part of the Bellator 145. With that fight having such a huge potential impact on the local 170-pound division we featured it as part of our Road to Bellator pref-fight coverage last October.
That night it was all Meredith, who hit an impressive throw from against the cage to take down Dowdy and proceed to win via rear naked choke early in the fight.
"When it came down to it I lost that moment and Adam hit a great move," Dowdy said. "After that was over I was itching to get back in as quick as I could. I was ready for the January Shamrock show. Then March there was a date we talked about then we ended up moving it to April. Whenever you're coming off a loss you want to erase that and get that momentum right back."
For Dowdy, it was back to the drawing board with hopes yet another opportunity would present itself.
"What I did was continue doing what I always did," Dowdy said. "I looked at what I was doing wrong,whether it was in the training room or in competition, and worked on that. The only downside from the loss was how long it took to get active again. It works well now that I'm coming off April and going right into June."
Dowdy started training at CMMA in Pontoon Beach, IL in October 2010, a year later he'd have his first fight.
"My first fight was October 2011 in Bethalto, IL," Dowdy said. "A lot of the guys I train with now were on that card. Aaron Highfill was on it, Cort (Wahle) was on it. Honestly, that first fight I was scared to death, I'm like 'what am I doing, I'm not doing this again', then I went out there and won. Two weeks later I fought again. Now I sit in the locker room yawning, all the hard work has been done, fighting is the fun part. I go out there, give it my best effort, then chill and go eat food with my family."
As mature of a fighter as any with a high fight IQ, Dowdy understands the sacrifices that have to be made to garner success in such a demanding sport.
"To do this the right way, you kind of have to not do a lot of other things people want to do," Dowdy said. "Drinking, partying, riding motorcycles, that's all stuff that will take away from your career. Whenever you have to take a backseat and watch other people succeed while you're still training and not able to compete it does make you look at that a little bit differently."
As Dowdy rose through the amateur rankings and made the jump to pro the end goal became clear.
"Casinos are fun to fight at don't get me wrong," Dowdy said. "When I walked into Scottrade Center the last time, it felt right. It felt like where I needed to be, where I should be. Obviously it's a privilege, the notoriety that comes with it. When there is big ambition you have to visualize that. I had already had it visualized before I even got there so it didn't really shock me or anything. This time around I already know what to expect, It's just another day in the office."
Chances are what you make of them, and for Dowdy a second chance at Bellator materialized when the match-ups for Bellator 157 were being formed. Dowdy will get a shot at redemption when he faces Guilherme Vasconcelos, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and former TUF: Brazil veteran with a record of 7-3.
"When the fight was offered to us, initially we were like, why would they offer us that one?" Dowdy said. "Then we were told it was the only opening. When I saw a video on on this guy I liked the match-up so I sent it to Steve (Knogl) and said I can beat this guy, I know I can beat this guy match-up wise. They looked at it and thought, yeah lets take this fight, high risk and high reward. I've wanted to fight someone from out of town and I think my style will work effectively against him. I don't think he's fought anyone who can move like me."
In preparation for Vasconcelos, Dowdy leaned heavily on his teammates at CMMA. Having one of the team's captains back training has been a big boost as well as some fresh faces at the gym from nearby Granite City.
"I've had more people helping me with this camp than last one," Dowdy said. "The last one I had Aaron (Highfill) somewhat until he got busy. Highfill is injured for this one but I have Sal (Woods) back, I have Sam (Tamayo) back. We have some wrestling kids at the gym now. They're tough, they learn quick and they'll put it on me if we do shark tank rounds. It's been nice to have Sal back, it's invaluable to have his experience there. No one really has access to the wrestlers from Granite City like I do, and you can't put a price on what's that worth."
In his last trip to the cage in April Dowdy defeated Raymond Gray with a straight left hand followed by a hook that sent Gray flying to the canvas for a first round TKO victory.
"In that last fight I had something to prove," Dowdy said. "All I need is one shot to put someone away. Once I find my moment and I can land that shot I don't care who you are you're going down."
Dowdy expects more of the same at Bellator: Dynamite 2.
"Fans will see a little bit more of what I've been working on," Dowdy said. "I've been meticulously working on my stand-up game for years now and I really haven't showed it much until that last fight because I didn't really need to. Wherever the fight goes, it's going to be a scrap. There's not going to be any quit there, someone will have to put me away."
Tickets for Bellator 157: Dynamite 2, which start at just $30, are on sale now on Ticketmaster.com and at the Ford Box Office at Scottrade Center. Doors for the event open at 5:00 p.m. CT local time, and the first contest takes place shortly after.
Bellator 157: Dynamite 2 airs live on Spike at 9 PM ET/8 PM CT, while preliminary bouts will stream on Spike.com at 7 PM ET.
Full card: (Subject to change)
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (36-11) vs Satoshi Ishii (14-5-1)
Michael Chandler (14-3) vs Pitbull Freire (16-7) - Bellator Lightweight Title
Matt Mitrione (9-5) vs Carl Seumantuafa (10-6)
Kickboxing: Kevin Ross (31-9) vs Justin Houghton (7-2)
Kickboxing: Denise Kieholtz (44-2) vs Gloria Peritore (10-1-1)
Rebecca Ruth (6-1) vs Ilima-Lei Macfarlance (3-0)
Kickboxing: Joe Schilling (19-8) vs Hisaki Kato
Kickboxing: Raymond Daniels (7-3) vs TBA
Kickboxing: Keri Taylor-Melendez (3-1) vs Sarah Howell
Jason Christenson (1-0) vs Jarrod Thomas (0-0)
Michelle Royer (1-0) vs Katy Collins (3-1)
Joaquin Buckley (5-0) vs Chris Heatherly (9-3-1)
Jordan Howard (9-3) vs Justin Robbins (14-17-1)
Ashley Cummins (3-3) vs Nikki Smith (1-0)
Kevin Engel (5-0) vs. Chel Erwin-Davis (3-1)
Brad Jones (5-4) vs Tyler Claussen (2-2)
Justin Lawrence (8-3) vs Isao Kobayashi (18-3-4)
Steve Mann (11-4) vs Mike Estus (7-4)
Garrett Mueller (2-1) vs Rashard Lovelace (3-0)
Jordan Dowdy (3-1) vs Guilherme Vasconcelos (7-3)
Lee Burns (2-0) vs. Byron Stevens (0-0)
Kickboxing: Elmir Kulosman (3-0) vs. Darryl Cobb (2-1)
Amateur Kickboxing : Tara Walker (4-3-1) vs. Mimi Kutzin (3-2)
Jordan Dowdy photo courtesy of Jimmy Range Photography