Myles Jury is a fighter who has truly blossomed inside the Octagon.
"Fury" was a top flight prospect on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 15, easily advancing into the house, but he was matched up against eventual finalist Al Iaquinta in his first official fight, losing a very close hard-fought decision.
The Alliance MMA product was successful in his UFC debut, but he proved his hype real in his second bout when he faced Michael Johnson at the peak of "The Menace's" three fight winning streak. Instead of being intimidated, Jury went right after Johnson, completely controlling him on the ground and spending a majority of the bout plastered to his back en route to a dominant unanimous decision.
Jury put a capper on his recent run by obliterating Ramsey Nijem, knocking out The Pit Elevated fighter with a perfectly timed counter punch. The victory earned him an opportunity to compete in hostile territory as he takes on Mike Ricci this Saturday night (Sept. 21, 2013) in the final bout of the UFC 165 prelims in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Michigan native spoke to MMAmania.com about his well-rounded approach to martial arts, finding the courage to step inside the cage and how surfing has helped him improve in this exclusive interview.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You've been doing some hanging out with Nick the Tooth recently. How did that come about?
Myles Jury: I had a mutual friend that introduced me to Nick the Tooth. I went up there after my last fight and we did a bit of surfing. He's been showing me some surfing stuff and I've just been keeping in contact with him. He's a funny, crazy dude and I like being around him. My team is always doing video blogs and I know he's really into that too so we just feed off each other and did some marketing together. He's very outgoing and goofy and the stuff he does attracts people to want to watch him.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): So tell me about this gorilla/hulk smoothie.
Myles Jury: (Laughs) You guys already found out about the gorilla hulk smoothie, huh?
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): It's my job to know!
Myles Jury: To be honest, he said it was great and he drinks it every morning, but it's pretty disgusting to me. It was jalapeno peppers, spinich, kale and almond milk all mixed together. It literally felt like it was hot from jalapenos and it tasted like grass. So spicy grass. It's good for you but it's not the best tasting.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Okay, back to you. This upcoming bout against Mike Ricci is your third straight fight against a runner-up of The Ultimate Fighter. What do you make of that?
Myles Jury: I was actually thinking about that the other day. This is my third straight fight against a TUF runner-up. These guys have got bigger names and when you beat them you get a little more recognition and vice versa. If you're fighting someone who's tough as nails but nobody knows, it doesn't do as much for you. It's been really good for my career, it's been cool and has been paying off for me.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You've been promoting your own brand of training called "Jury Jiu-Jitsu." Can you go into detail about it?
Myles Jury: Jury Jiu-Jitsu has been a way for me to give back. If you've been following my career, you know I've been training since I was 13 and I've been training all over the world so I've had different looks at all sorts of martial arts. Over the years I've had a chance to take pieces of the top martial arts and blend them together under the best coaches and training partners and the highest levels of competition to test them against.
That's what Jury Jiu-Jitsu is. It's a striking, wrestling and jiu-jitsu curriculum. We've got three parts and we've got a flow system which adds them all together, how they flow together. It's more of a new era of mixed martial arts and it's for everybody. It's for people who want to get in shape, for people who want to get at the highest level of training and that's what it is. It's pretty much an opportunity for me to get affiliated with schools that want to add the skills, philosophies and techniques and I go out there and show them.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): And no better way to showcase the well-roundedness of your style than to go out in your first three UFC fights and score a submission, a vicious knockout standing up and a dominant one-sided grappling display to secure a decision.
Myles Jury: Exactly, that's what it's all about for me. The days of being a one-trick pony are over. You have to not only know all aspects of the sport but you have to understand how they flow together. There are techniques in each martial art that wouldn't work unless you adjusted it properly to fight settings. We're innovative and I really dig into it with my imagination. We're running with it and I think it'll have a positive impact on the schools and communities overall.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You've brought up that you wouldn't be where you were today if you didn't have the courage to step inside the cage. Where do you draw that courage from?
Myles Jury: I don't care who you are, every fighter has a different way of dealing with the pressure of stepping into the Octagon. At the end of the day, we're taking the two most craziest things. We're taking public speaking and fighting and putting them together and showcasing them on a stage in front of millions and millions of people. Just having that courage for me is all about having faith myself. I get that through martial arts. I feel martial arts are a great way of living life. It's a routine for ya which teaches you values, techniques, philosophies. It goes deeper than the physical side of it, which I feel people focus on too much. The values from the older days, the indomitable spirit, integrity, that's what you can learn and apply to your life to change it for the better.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): What do you make of Mike Ricci as an opponent thus far. He's 1-1 in UFC but his lone loss was fighting outside his natural weight class.
Myles Jury: I definitely think he's a game opponent. He's well-rounded and trains out of a great camp just like I do. He's also a decent athlete so for me, it's just been about making sure I've been doing everything correctly so I show up as the best Myles Jury I can be that day and I feel like I've done that. I do feel like I'm better all-around than him and there's no area he's crazy-good in. I feel I can beat him standing up, I can beat him on the ground, I can outpace him and whatever. I'll just outpace him on the day of the fight.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Okay, complete change of subject, but I'd like to talk about surfing. You seem to be doing it in nearly every video blog you post. What's drawn you, a Michigan guy, to the ocean?
Myles Jury: (laughs) It's a safe hobby. I learned how to fall correctly and the only thing you have to worry about are sharks, knock on wood. I don't like to toot my own horn, but I'm getting better. Of course, the bulk of my life is training, but I try to surf around my training schedule and get out there as much as I can. For the amount of time I've been able to surf, I'm getting more comfortable. My conditioning is getting up there. I don't know if you've ever surfed but the swimming and repeated trips against the waves can be really tiring. My balance is getting better.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I know visualization is really important for you, so what do you see when you think about this upcoming bout against Mike Ricci?
Myles Jury: In my fight against Mike Ricci, I just see myself going out there and working hard for 15 minutes. That's all I have control over and that's I plan on doing. I'm going to work hard for 15 minutes and if a finish comes, it's gonna come. No matter what, I'm gonna leave everything I've got in the cage. I leave all my chips on the table when I fight, so that's what I see from myself going into this fight.
Myles would like to thank his sponsors, Alliance MMA and his affiliates for Jury Jiu-Jitsu. You can follow him on Twitter @FuryJury.