Dave “The Fugitive” Jansen (20-2) challenges Will Brooks (15-1) for his newly acquired Bellator lightweight championship in the main event of Bellator 136. After suffering two losses in WEC, Dave Jansen revitalized his cage career in Bellator to the tune of a 7-fight winning streak. Taking unanimous decision victories over top talents Rick Hawn and Marcin Held, we ask Dave Jansen about his training methods, mentality and what we can expect from the night’s main event.
Scifighting: You have given a lot of credit to the benefits of flotation tank meditation. Does that help you get into a fighting mindset?
Jansen: Totally. That’s the thing is that I’ve gone through this fight so many times already. In the float tank, it really helps to visualize my strategy, resources and opportunities and see my victory. That combination of introspection and seeing the big picture. I’m really grateful for my sponsorship with Float On in Portland, Oregon. It’s a phenomenal tool and I’m really grateful for my massage therapist who turned me on to it. After going in and talking to one of the owners, they were really adamant about sponsoring me and it’s been a great fit ever since. That was before my first Bellator fight so I’m undefeated in Bellator since I’ve started floating.
SF: Have you done any work with a sports psychologist in a similar manner?
Jansen: Yeah looking back my first experience with sports psychology was with my wrestling coach Mark Sprague. He taught us all how to visualize, meditate and take an hour for massage and visualization at the national camp. I went to this camp 7 years in a row and from there that’s where I learned how to enjoy it, how to win and how to visualize it. I’ve had a lot of teachers since then and a lot of healers, kind of like angels in human form. I don’t want to sound hippy-dippy but I really think there are angels out there in human form. Thankfully I’ve had so many of them impact me.
SF: Sports Psychology is one of the most intriguing components of competitive athletics that has really come into the conversation in MMA. How has that practice helped you?
Jansen: For me it feels like the harder I try, the harder it is, especially with mental gymnastics. If I’m putting so much mental effort into it I’m actually getting less out of it. That’s the beauty of flotation tanks, just embracing the void, the ether. I’m feeling whole and I feel like I’m finding my place and my goal. I’ve struggled in the past, but the beautiful thing about fighting is the closer I get to the camp the more focused I become.
SF: You’ve been through a lot of different training camps in the past. Where have you set up shop now and why?
Jansen: I train at Rose City Fight Club where my training partners Ryan Lowe and Mike Pierce took ownership. I’m there because I trust Robert Villardi, Andy Minsker and Ian Loveland. Trust is everything. I love all those people and they’re all killers. Those three guys are the trinity of my coaching staff right now. There’s tons of other people that I learned from along the way but that’s the triangle right there. 10th Planet Portland is also stationed out of there with Nathan Orchard and Phil Schwartz and they’re doing a fantastic job there. There’s also many other gyms in Portland like Impact Jiu-Jitsu and Renzo Gracie Academy that I have a good relationship with. I’m so lucky to be born here. I’m living a heart-centered life.
SF: What is your game plan going up against Will Brooks?
Jansen: I’m ready for anything and everything. I don’t have a game plan. I have tools I’m going to use but I don’t have a plan A, I have a plan A-Z. I’m just going to respond to any and every situation. I’ve already done all the heavy lifting, speed and agility training and mental training every day of my life. I’m just going to be like water like Bruce Lee says. Become the cup if I need to become the cup and become vapor if I need to. Everything I do has bad intentions for him.
SF: Your fight with Marcin Held was a demonstration of perfect leg lock defense tactics. Are you preparing a similar particular defense against Will Brooks?
Jansen: I see will Brooks, I know what he does just like I knew what Marcin Held’s strongest suits were. With that fight, I’m totally thankful for Casey K Andrew. He’s the guy I went to to just study and learn leg lock defense. That’s how I won that fight was just by doing my homework and I’ve definitely done my homework for Will Brooks. I know how he moves, how I move and I know what’s going to happen. I’ve already made it happen.
SF: Anything else you’d like to include for our readers?
Jansen: Thanks to my sponsors Float On, Onnit, Bulletproof Nutrition, Zen Yoga and Hypnotherapy, Future Legend, Rose City FC, 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu Portland and Andy Minsker.
See Dave Jansen’s challenge for Will Brook’s lightweight title in the main event of Bellator 136 on April 10th on Spike TV at 9/8C.