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Josh Blyden Discusses TUF Tryouts and Upcoming Legacy FC 47 Fight

<p>Disciplined in both technique and mannerisms, Josh Blyden isn’t your average fighter. Though he trains and fights out of Savannah, GA, the area where he has spent his adult life honing his skills as a mixed martial artist under the tutelage of Muhsin Corbbrey and the Champions Training Center team, he’s a proud New York native at heart. Blyden, the eighth son of a Trinidadian mother and a father hailing from the Virgin Islands, was born and raised in Harlem. He represents his birthplace and his family in a unique way before each fight. “I really pride myself on my birth place of Harlem, New York so I'm a little bias towards my New York teams,” he laughs. “My teams are the Yankees, Giants, and the Knicks. I always wear a Yankee hat to every fight. It's something I probably started when I was an amateur. It's just something my brother told me I should always do so everyone knows where I'm from. He lives in New York so he has a store that has really rare Yankees caps and he mails me a new one every fight.”</p> <blockquote><em>I'm at a point that I know what I'm capable of and I know where I'm going so this is just the next stepping stone to where I belong, and that's competing against the top guys in the world sooner than later</em> - Josh Blyden</blockquote> <p>After moving to Savannah, Blyden, a longtime gamer, discovered the drive to become a professional athlete, a move that has thus far resulted in a successful 7-0 amateur run and a 3-0 start to his professional mma career. Blyden tried out earlier this for season 22 of The Ultimate Fighter, and the next step of his journey is leading him to <a href="http://roughcopy.com/events/legacy-fc-47">Legacy FC 47</a>, his first first fight on a nationally televised event. He’ll be battling Nick Sprayberry, another of Georgia’s top ranked featherweights. Josh sat down with us earlier this week to talk about his life, his time in Vegas, and his upcoming fight.</p> <p><strong>Josh, thanks for joining us. What kinds of activities were you involved in during high school or college?</strong></p> <p>In high school, I wasn't into a whole lot. I played a few years of rec basketball but for the most part wasn't to much involved with much else. I was your average kid in school. I was the kid with the New York accent that dressed. I started working directly after high school so I didn't go to college.</strong> </p> <p><strong>What are some of your talents outside of mma?</strong></p> <p>I'm really a boring guy outside of MMA, lol.  I played a lot of video games as a kid and still do when I have time. I probably had the potential to play video games professionally at one point but never pursued it. I also enjoyed chess growing up. My uncle would take me to the parks around the city in New York to play all the time. </p> <p><strong>You frequently mention your vinyl collection on social media.  Would you mind telling us a bit about your interest in this and some of your favorites?  What are some of your favorite styles of music?</strong></p> <p>I have really taken a liking to collecting vinyls lately. I have always been a fan of older music and just decided to start maybe a year ago. I hit the local flea market once a week and just look for vinyls. You can find them for dirt cheap. Music is something that plays a big part in my everyday life. I really don't have a preference in music. I enjoy all genres. You can find anything from billy ocean, to Elton John, the birds, Jayz, al green, pretty much anything that sounds good. 
</p> <p><strong>What are some of your favorite sports teams?  Would you mind telling us a bit about your tradition of wearing a new Yankees cap to every fight?  What started this?</strong></p> <p>I really pride myself on my birth place of Harlem, New York so I'm a little bias towards my New York teams, lol. My teams are the Yankees, Giants, and the Knicks. I always wear a Yankee hat to every fight. It's something I probably started when I was an amateur. It's just something my brother told me I should always do so everyone knows where I'm from. He lives in New York so he has a store that has really rare Yankees caps and he mails me a new one every fight.</p> <p><strong>What do you consider your greatest personal achievement to date?</strong></p> <p>My greatest personal achievement to date would probably be just becoming a professional athlete. It was the start of everything important to me. It was the start of having the opportunity to make a living doing what I enjoy most. It's why I started fighting and to just make it to that point is the greatest achievement to me.</p> <p><strong>Who are some of your heroes or role models and why?</strong></p> <p>I have a lot of heroes but the ones that play a important role in my life and truly have my best interest in mind would be my brothers and my coach. They are the ones that mentor me and tell me when I'm messing up and have always done nothing but made me better. </p> <p><strong>What’s an average day like for you?</strong></p> <p>An average day for me usually starts at about 7:00 AM. I have a boot camp class to teach in the morning then I do a strength and conditioning workout and then spar from 11:30-2:00. I go home and eat and then make my way back to the gym about 5:30pm to teach my kids boxing class. Then I train again from 6:30-9:00.</p> <p><strong>Let’s shift gears a bit and talk about your career. You recently attended the tryouts for The Ultimate Fighter. Would you mind sharing some of your thoughts on that experience and how it affected you?</strong></p> <p>I had a great time at the tryouts. I tried out for the current season (22) of TUF. The experience was great. I got to show the top organization that I do have a future with them. I did extremely well and made it to the interview portion. I didn't make the final cut but was told to go out and get a few more wins and I'll will be there soon enough. The biggest thing I learned from the tryouts was that those guys are looking for guys that go out and finish fights. They gave me a look purely off of my finish rate as an amateur and a pro. They’re looking for guys that finish fights so that is my main objective going forward. The tryouts really gave me the push and confidence that I needed to go back on the local scene and really go out and perform.  </p> <p><strong>What do you consider the most difficult aspect of being a professional fighter and what do you consider its greatest reward?</strong></p> <p>The hardest part of be being a professional fighter would be the dieting and weight cutting. To train the way we do and to diet at the same time is a task. If anybody knows me they know I love food so it can be tough. The greatest reward would have to be the feeling the moment I win a fight. I train really hard, so to see the hard work paying off for me is the best feeling.</p> <p><strong>This may be your biggest step up in competition and it’s on the biggest stage thus far in your short professional career.  How does the pressure for this fight feel when compared to your previous ones?</strong></p> <p>To be honest I don't feel any added pressure at all. I'm at a point that I know what I'm capable of and I know where I'm going so this is just the next stepping stone to where I belong, and that's competing against the top guys in the world sooner than later. I look at this as an opportunity to prove it.
</p> <p><strong>What do you consider your biggest weakness and what steps are you taking to improve yourself?</strong></p> <p>I wouldn't say I have a weakness but I have been working to improve my wrestling lately. I have never been handled in a fight against some decent wrestlers but wrestling is something I'm looking to improve. I have been working my boxing a lot as well. Just working lately on putting everything together. </p> <p><strong>Let’s chat about the UFC’s Reebok deal real quick.  As a young competitor trying to make it to the big stage, do the financial realities of the situation for the next few years affect your outlook on the future?</strong></p> <p>I'm really not to much of a fan of the Reebok deal. Anytime anything can even possibly take anything out of the fighters pockets it's a problem. Some people rely on sponsorship money and the Reebok deal is really hurting some people. At the same time though, my goal from the get go was to be in the UFC. I currently wouldn't have those sponsorship problems right now so my only objective is to compete at the highest level. If it was an issue for me though I would have to do what's in my best interest.</p> <p><strong>You also do some work with the juniors at CTC.  How has that helped you grow as a fighter and a person?</strong></p> <p>I have been the kids boxing coach at CTC for about 3-4 years now. It's something that has helped me grow as a person and as a fighter. I'm in shock sometimes watching some of the kids. I wish I was exposed to martial arts at a young age. There are truly some talented kids out there who never get to see there true potential.</p> <p><strong>What unique skills do you feel your opponent brings to the table that you will have to counter?</strong></p> <p>The biggest threats that stand out to me with my opponent would have to be his jiu jitsu. I believe he has won most of his fights by submission. I have finished most of my fights as well on the ground so I don't feel he will have an advantage there though. I believe I'm better than him anywhere the fight goes.</p> <p><strong>Tell us a bit about your skills and what you’ve done to improve them since your last contest.</strong></p> <p>The biggest improvements I've made from my last fight would be just learning how to control the fight. I'm always a slow starter so just been working on establishing a game plan early and dictating where the fight goes. I feel like I have a lot of skill that hasn't been shown yet and I feel that with the adjustments I've made I'll really be able to put everything together in this fight.</p> <p><strong>Who do you study for inspiration?</strong></p> <p>I'm a fan of all styles but I mostly favor fighters that fight more like me. I'm a striker with jiu-jitsu and anti-wrestling so I study guys like Jose Aldo, Donald Cerrone, Muhsin Corbbrey, Anthony Pettis to name a few. Muay Thai/kickboxing was my first martial art so I really enjoy the Dutch style of fighting. I watched a lot of Ernesto Hoost and Tyrone Spong when I started so I really study those guys. </p> <p><strong>What fights are you looking forward to seeing the most before the end of the year?</strong></p> <p>They have some really great fights coming up in the next few months but I'm mostly looking forward to the Aldo and McGregor fight. Also I'm gonna try my hardest to make the Cerrone and Dos Anjos fight in Orlando so I'm excited about that card. </p> <p><strong>Finally, let’s end this on a light note, would you rather fight ten Demetrious Johnson-sized Brock Lesnars or one Brock Lesnar-sized Demetrious Johnson</strong></p> <p>Hands down 10 Demetrius sized Brock's. A Brock Lesnar sized Demetrius Johnson wouldn't be safe for the world. I wouldn't wish that fight on my worst enemy, haha.</p> <p><strong>Thanks so much for dropping by Josh! We’re looking forward to your next fight.</strong></p> <p>Always a pleasure working with Rough Copy! Thanks for the time! </p> <p><em>Legacy FC 47 goes down Friday October 18 at Center Stage Atlanta. Join our <a href="http://roughcopy.com/picks">Legacy FC picks tournament</a> and give us your predictions for who's walking away with a win!</em></p>

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Josh Blyden Discusses TUF Tryouts and Upcoming Legacy FC 47 Fight - MMA Articles - Rough Copy