MMA Root

I Would Have Retired, Had I Lost to Bryan Barberena

Jason Witt believes he showed what he’s about in his last Octagon appearance when he took a majority decision from Bryan Barberena in a three-round welterweight feature at UFC on ESPN 28. The fight was pure fire as each fighter almost finished the other and both proved to be true warriors. Ultimately, their grueling efforts were rewarded with Fight of the Night honors. To Witt, that win and bonus cash were worth even more as he had always believed he had the tenacity to survive a war in the Octagon but never had the opportunity to prove it. Additionally, “The Vanilla Gorilla” was fighting in the final bout of his UFC contract and unsure of his future as a fighter.

“That defined my career back then,” he says. “Going into that fight it was either, I could retire because I would be 1-3 in the UFC. If I lost a fight, I would retire. I didn’t want to go back into the local scene. In the end I won the fight, got a [$50,000] Bonus and got a new contract. It really defined my whole career right there, just advanced my career. It was one of the craziest fights I’ve ever been in, it’s one of the craziest fights that a lot of people have participated in or watched. I figured every round I would do round three one, two and three. I thought the whole fight was supposed to be madness all the time because that’s how Barberena fights, that’s how he is. I didn’t know if I had that in me. Finding out after the fight that I could go through this and take a hit and have the heart. I have heart, I know I’m strong, I know the stuff but I didn’t know if I had that round three and made it to get that when it showed me I had that in me .

Witt now faces Philip Rowe at the upcoming UFC Fight Night 200. While speaking to Sherdog, he also spoke about his training camp, new contract and more.

Time stamp:

(00:00) Introduction
(00:48) Running his business
(01:55) His fight with Barberena
(03:08) Wanting to withdraw in case of loss
(03:45) Commentary on the judge who awarded the fight a tie
(04:20) Getting a new contract
(05:25) His camp for Rowe
(07:25) Compete on maps overwritten by Sean Strickland or Uriah Hall
(08:08) Pick Strickland vs. Jack Hermansson
(08:47) Calls out Max Griffin and begins his fight with Neil Magny
(09:45) Walk to “Hustler’s Ambition” by 50 Cent
(11:25) Over

Tudor Leonte began writing about mixed martial arts for Italian media in 2013. His journey with Sherdog began in 2018 and he now covers One Championship and countless European shows. You can follow him on Twitter @Mr. Tudor Leonte.

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