Before Joseph Long returns to action at Valor 50 on Saturday in Knoxville, the up-and-coming lightweight caught up with FightBookMMA.
How did you find MMA in the first place?
Well, it really started off with my interest in being active and doing something physical. I wrestled throughout high school and broke off doing anything else like that after graduation because of work. When I finally got a new job up here in Cleveland, I finally had my own money and could pay for the training. Back when I was a kid, I wasn’t able to afford it. I finally got to the point where I had enough money that I could pay for it, so I joined up and fell in love with it – more than I ever even thought I would.
How do you feel about your accomplishments so far?
I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished. I’ve only done this for two years, now and I’ve already made it to the semi-finals in the world. I’m up to ten fights with only one loss. I feel very accomplished, but I’ve yet to say I’ve made it to my goal. I can’t say I’ve got as far as I’m ready to be.
What are your goals in MMA?
Everyone’s goal is to get to the top and be a world champion – fight in the UFC and whatnot. I want to get to the top and I want people to think of me immediately as a great fighter, first. Just to be talked about for the next few years.
What’s the most likely outcome of your upcoming fight at Valor 50?
That’s a tough one. He’s really good and he won just the other weekend, too. It was by submission. I want to say, everybody’s goal, is to finish him in the first round. But, if worse comes to worst, it’ll go to decision where I think I’ll come out on top.
How many times would you like to fight in 2018?
It really depends on how the fights go. If I do one fight and I don’t get hurt, I’ll do another one the next month. If I end up getting hurt or banged up, I won’t. I plan on at least five. I’ve got one down and my second is coming right up. I’m going to Orlando in August for the World Kickboxing Championship tournament. I’ll probably have at least three fights, there. Then I’ll come back and take some belts for Valor.