Feel the force of The Juggernaut

Credit: Luke Jumeau

#TheUW – Hey Luke, thanks heaps for taking time out of your training schedule and while you’re back NZ-side to catch up! I’ve been following your career over the past few years and have been lucky enough to catch some of your earlier domestic fights in NZ. 

 #TheUW – 1st of all, tell everyone who may not have had the chance to follow your career or people who are new to the sport a bit about your origins. 

Ok! I’m from New Zealand and started training around 2003 in a mixed taekwando based martial art and fell in love with everything involving it after around 5 years I achieved my black belt and soon after had my first MMA fight! The MMA scene was pretty fresh in New Zealand but erupted quickly, I went on to go 3 and 0 as an amateur before turning pro and main-eventing in my debut! I then fought once more in New Zealand before the offers came in to fight over seas were I have pretty much fought ever since building my career.

Credit: Global Fighting Championship

#TheUW – There have been some big changes for you recently going more Global (pun intended) and taking your skills to some of the best fight-camps in the world to prepare for the international scene. Tell us more about what you’ve been doing. 

 Recently I moved me and my family to Thailand training out of phuket top team one of the best gyms in Asia with a great team and management giving me the opportunity to

Giving my all to the sport this is the first time in my career I’ve been able to focus all of my attention on MMA without having to work an 8 hour a day job too.

#TheUW – I know you’ve had a bit of personal tragedy in the past and having suffered loss myself, I know it takes a long time to heal. Tell us how your own story motivated you and inspired you to become something better. 

 I lost my older brother wen I was 14 very hard time for me and my family. I kind of felt like an under-achiever compared to him. He was the one to possibly make something of himself. [I found] myself a bit more lost and [would] go with the flow after his passing and had a lot of hard times.

I found martial arts and decided to fill both our shoes and make our family proud in the way I could.

#TheUW – What has it been like to get out of NZ following the passion you have for the sport and getting to immerse yourself in the full MMA fighters life?

It’s a dream come true!

The day I had my first fight all I thought about was becoming a world champion and training full time doing what I love.. Now all that remains is the world title [laughs]!

#TheUW – How do you see the role of the modern MMA fighter and their responsibilities to the sport and to their fans and those that are coming up through the scene trying to follow in your footsteps? 

 I’m not sure I try not to think too much about that stuff but show that the hard work and dedication pays off!
My coach Steve Wallace from New Zealand always taught us with skill comes responsibility know that what you do others will follow I believe I’m a good role model showing humble beginnings and hard work pays off

#TheUW – Who are your role models both in, and out of the cage/fight-scene?

 I don’t necessarily have any role models in or out of the sport I draw inspiration from a lot of things. I think every successful person is to be admired because they show the way, but I’m more primitive and I like the way of the warrior. The a role model for me is the history of my culture and many others.

Credit: creativeroots.org

#TheUW – While overseas did you have a chance to meet any legends of our sport or even any celebs? Do you get star-struck when meeting someone that you admire or have followed?

 I’ve meet my fair share of celebrities on my travels but never been star struck

#TheUW – I’ve seen you referred to as both “The Jedi” on sherdog.com and “The Juggernaut” too on NZMMA.tv.. What’s the story behind both of these and which do you prefer?

 The “Jedi”came from a local show back home icnz  I was the main event and they did a promo video the return of the “Jedi” [laughs]. I guess being Luke it comes with it?

As for the “Juggernaut”, I was on a tear and have always been naturally strong plus I wasn’t too fond of the name Jedi so one of my team mates came up with the name “Juggernaut” fitting with my last name but “Jedi” just stuck it use to bother me a bit but not anymore [smiles].

Juggernaut VS Jedi

Juggernaut VS Jedi

#TheUW – What was it like putting in the hard work overseas at both Phuket Top Team recently and in Vegas at Xtreme Couture in the past? What’s the level like in those big fight-camps compared to our smaller and younger scene in NZ?

Credit: Xtreme Couture | xtremecouturemma.com

 I come from a small town in New Zealand and it became hard to put together camps and have training partners that could push me. So I ventured to take a camp at Xtreme Couture [and it] was an awesome experience that I learned a lot from.. Mostly that we are all human I was surprised and impressed at my level [in comparison] to some of the best in the world. The best thing about them is the variety and number of training partners!

This is what boosts your game.

I was still young when I went to Xtreme Couture and continued to train in New Zealand afterwards.

Credit: Phuket Top Team | phukettopteam.com

Now I’m training with Phuket Top Team and when I arrived there it felt like home. A family and an awesome gym, which is the reason it attracts a lot of other talented fighters and Thailand, being the more affordable option. There’s a lot of talent to train with [and] that’s the biggest difference from home, having the numbers and the full training schedule.

#TheUW – Finally, if people out there want to learn more about you and follow your journey, where can they reach you?

 You can follow me on twitter @lukejumeau or like my facebook page Luke Jumeau for all the details training and upcoming fights

Thanks to NZMMA.tv.