Las Vegas – Get to know Dana White’s Contender Series fighter Jeff “El Jefe” Molina.
The fourth season of the hit show Dana White’s Contender Series continues with Episode 4, featuring a lineup of rising athletes looking to make their dreams come true by impressing UFC President Dana White and earning a spot on the UFC roster.
The event takes place on Tuesday, August 25 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, with all five bouts streaming exclusively on ESPN+ in the US.
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NAME: Jeff Molina
NICKNAME: Jeff “El Jefe” Molina
WEIGHT CLASS: Flyweight
AGE: 23 years old – 7/17/97
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 5-6, 125
LEG REACH: –
BIRTHPLACE: Lakewood, NJ
FIGHTING OUT OF: Olathe, KS
LANGUAGES SPOKEN: English, Spanish
TRAINER: James Krause and Jason High
TRAINING: I’m in the gym every day and train two to three times a day. Eat, sleep, train – it’s
been that way since I was 15. The most time I’ve spent away from the mats since I’ve started
training has been five days.
PROFESSIONAL MMA RECORD: 7-2
Thoughts on opponent, Jacob Silva? He’s durable and throws big overhands and hooks. He’s pretty one dimensional and hits hard because he loads everything up.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I was 14 when I started doing MMA and made it a full-time thing when I was 15. Growing up I was always interested in martial arts and was obsessed with Jackie Chan flicks and TMNT. As a kid, I would play for hours with WWE action figures and pretend they were fighting. I would use a red water-marker to draw blood on them. My parents couldn’t afford to put me in martial arts classes so I would do the free weekly/month trials at every karate and taekwondo gym within 45 min of our home in Jersey. I discovered MMA at 14 after watching a UFC fight and playing the UFC video game. After going down the rabbit hole of YouTube watching every single WEC, PRIDE, and UFC fight available, I was hooked. I Googled the nearest MMA gym near me and the rest is history.
What ranks and titles have you held? National Muay Thai Classic champion, Victory FC Ammy flyweight champion
Do you have any heroes? Someone I aspire to be like and really look up to is my coach James Krause. From the way he carries himself to what he’s overcome to get where he is, he’s inspiring. My parents would be my other heroes. Being Colombian immigrants who came to this country with nothing 28 years ago and working day in and day out to get where they are today is extremely admirable. I get my work ethic from them.
What would it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It would mean everything, as cliché as that sounds. I’ve dreamed of this moment since I was 14 years old.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I did a few semesters towards an Administration of Justice degree but never graduated.
What was your job before you started fighting? Sales Rep at T-mobile
Ranks in any martial arts styles: Purple Belt in BJJ
Favorite grappling technique: RNC and Arm Triangle
Favorite Striking technique: Liver shot and head kicks
Twitter account name: @jmolina_125
Facebook account: @jeffmolina125
Instagram account: @jmolina_125
OTHER KEY POINTS:
- Pro since 2017
- Lost pro debut, 7-1 since
- On six-fight winning streak
- Three wins by KO, four by submission
- Five first round finishes
- Origin of nickname: “My childhood best friend’s dad was Mexican and would always joke and say my name in Spanish would be pronounced Jefe instead of Jeff, since in Spanish the J is pronounced as an H. He’d always call me that and the name just stuck. Throughout middle school and high school, a lot of people would call me Jefe, especially on the wrestling team. It’s more of a play on words than the actual translation of “boss,” but I like both. My coach Jason High used to joke and say he’s calling me ‘Jefecito’ instead of Jefe until I turned 18. He stuck to his word and when I turned 18 and had my first MMA fight my nickname became ‘El Jefe.’”
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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