Krzysztof Jotko is looking to build a winning streak on Saturday against Marc-Andre Barriault on the main card of UFC 240.
The Polish fighter is coming off of a decision win over Alen Amedovski in April. This victory snapped a three-fight losing streak, as he has recently lost to David Branch, Uriah Hall, and Brad Tavares.
After getting back into the win column, Jotko says he feels better mentally, as the losing streak was mentally taxing.
“After my losing streak, and everything, I did a little change with my training. I did some mental work and had a mental coach work with me. I just switched everything that I was doing and focused on myself,” Jotko said. “It was a very important fight for me. Just what I had in my life with injuries, losing streak, and other things. It was exciting to win that fight and get back in the win column. I feel better mentally now, too.”
Although he no longer has his spot in the rankings, Jotko remains confident in his skills and believes he will win this fight with Barriault. He was not impressed by the Canadian’s UFC debut. He says he looked slow and that his opponent Andrew Sanchez exploited him.
Something going against Jotko, though, is the fact that he is fighting in Barriault’s home country. Yet, he says he isn’t worried about it, as he has done it before and believes he will smash him anyways — whether the crowd is booing or cheering him.
“I really don’t care about that. I was in the same situation many times. I have fought hometown guys and am 2-0 against them. I will smash this guy, too,” he explained.
Jotko’s confidence heading into this fight comes in large part from his training at American Top Team. He says he spent the majority of his training camp wrestling with Colby Covington, doing jiu-jitsu with Antonio Carlos Jr., and striking with Jorge Masvidal. Along with working with other fighter and coaches. All of that in combination, he says, has made him a better fighter.
“It is hard to go there if you are not in good shape. A lot of very good fighters there that push the pace. They make me so much better,” he said. “I trained a lot with Antonio Carlo Jr. to improve my jiu-jitsu. I trained with Colby Covington to improve my wrestling and pace. I got to work with Jorge Masvidal. You can believe that I am ready for this fight.”
With all the training he did, he is confident in skills wherever the fight goes, and he expects to dictate where the fight takes place.
“You never know what is going to happen,” Jotko said. “If I feel good in the standup I’ll keep it standing. If I want it down on the ground it will go down on the ground. Whatever I feel better with is what will happen.”
In the end, Krzysztof Jotko is more than confident he will dominate this fight and get his hand raised at the end of it. After getting back into the win column, he says his confidence is back and his climb back into the rankings will continue on Saturday.
“Sometimes you need to do one step back for two steps forward. I know what it feels like to lose, and I don’t want to do that again,” he concluded. “My dream is to be a UFC champion and I am on the path to doing so.”
Who do you think will win the fight between Krzysztof Jotko and Marc-Andre Barriault?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/23/2019.