Inspired by Nick Newell, Justin Sumter eyes 3rd straight finish Saturday

(Wed, April 12, 2017)– Top 185-pound prospect Justin Sumter takes on Abe Pitrowski at CES 43 on Saturday in Beverly, Mass., LIVE on FloCombat. Before he looks for his third straight first-round finish, the Connecticut-based up-and-comer caught up with FightBookMMA.

How did you find MMA to begin with?

I wrestled for three years in high school, but I didn’t really do anything for my senior year or freshman year of college. Around that time, a good friend of mine introduced me to jiu-jitsu. I was doing well in tournaments and a couple months later I was asked if I wanted to take a fight in Florida against an undefeated up-and-comer. I hopped in the car, beat him in 30 seconds, and I haven’t looked back since.

Why MMA?

I like the competitive aspect of it, coming from wrestling. It’s a team sport with an emphasis on what you do as an individual. It’s one step above wrestling, and I love the competitive aspect.

How big of an impact has Nick Newell, your head trainer at FAA in Connecticut, had on your career?

He’s had a huge impact. His determination and his work ethic is the biggest thing that’s rubbed off on me. With his disability, he has to push through so much. He pushes as hard as anyone I know to get to the top of the MMA food chain. If he can do it, I can too.

Is your fight Saturday going to last longer than 30 seconds, unlike your last two fights?

(Laughs) I’m definitely looking to finish this fight the whole time I’m out there, whether it’s in the first 30 seconds or as time is about to expire. That being said, I’m definitely looking for another decisive finish as early as possible.

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