A tussle at a bus stop when Jared “The Menace” Ray was 11 years old led him to becoming one of America’s top amateur MMA prospects.
“I went home that day, and I decided that I wanted to do MMA. Obviously I was too young, so I started jiu-jitsu. That led to wrestling, and that led to where I am now,” Ray says on the eve of his fight with Datrelle Kozeluh (7-2-2) at YoungGuns 1 on Saturday at FireLake Arena in Shawnee, OK.
The 18-year-old Oklahoma City fighter is undefeated in his first five amateur bouts, with three of his wins coming by stoppage. Upon making his debut in the XFC’s famed Hexagon on Saturday, he’s regarded as one of the top young prospects in the nation. Still, he’s taking everything in stride.
“I really just enjoy fighting; I don’t have specific goals in the sport,” he offers after a recent training session at American Elite MMA. “I enjoy the fight itself much more than anything that comes along with it; I’d be just as happy if we fight in the parking lot (laughs).”
Roberto Villa is the CEO, 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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