From now on, it’s do or die for Jesse Ronson. If he loses at BTC 9 against Troy Lamson, he’ll probably retire. If he wins, he’ll go where he gets paid the most. But still, Jesse Ronson can’t leave the sport without a UFC win.
It’s been a rough year for the top pound-for-pound fighter in Canada. It all started with the now infamous UFC mishap in December of 2018. He was selected as a last minute replacement to fight Diego Ferreira in Toronto, but when he arrived for fight week, he was deemed unable to make the weight and let go on the spot.
He was then booked in a superfight against Charles Jourdain at TKO 47 in April 2019. Once again, things went south as on fight day, he was removed from the fight by the commission’s doctor after a test showed he may have an contagious illness. Ronson had a small gash on the side of his face and he had it checked out by his doctors in London, which provided him with paperworks for the commission proving that nothing was contagious and that the plea was treated. Quebec’s commission ignored the doctor’s paperwork and did their own test, which came out with inconclusive results, so they took Jesse out of the fight by precaution. It turned out he had nothing wrong in a messed up, but not uncommon situation.
When then thought Jesse caught a break, as we learned he was stepping in the PFL million dollar Lightweight tournament against Carlao Silva. He trained for eight weeks for that opponent, only to show up on weigh in day and find out that his opponent was not going to make weight and was disqualified. Usually when that happens in the PFL, the one that made weight get his points and does not have to fight, but it’s not the deal that Jesse got.
In fact, it turned out that another Lightweight missed weight, so they just matched both fighters without opponents together. Ronson was then matched up on 24 hours’ notice against double champion and consensus best fighter in the whole PFL: Natan Schulte. He lost that fight by decision.
Due to the circumstances, PFL told Ronson that they would give him another shot, but as Jesse said, they forgot about him. So when Jesse and his manager got back at the PFL to see what was up, they told him that they only had a spot at 170 against Nikolay Aleksakhin. Ronson took the fight but was severly outsized but his opponent. He did not cut weight for the fight and was not able to weigh in at more than 176lbs on fight day. That’s smaller than he would have weighed in against Charles Jourdain at TKO 47 in a 155lbs fight. He suffered a TKO loss in the first round.
He was then told by the PFL the get a win and that they would sign him for their 2020 tournament. However, plans changed shortly after as he was told that the league got rid of 50% of their roster and that he had to win one of their four man tournaments to get into the 2020 season. That’s when he decided to take the Troy Lamson fight.
Lamson is a well regarded prospect who owns a 13-3 record with notable wins over Dustin Parrish and Kyle Prepolec. He was seen in the last episode of Dana White’s Looking for a Fight where he lost a unanimous decision to Alex Munoz, who got a UFC deal off that win. Dana White even took time to visit Lamson backstage to congratulate him for his impressive performance in defeat and to tell him that he was going to keep an eye on him.
So Lamson is clearly well liked by the UFC and exactly the type of opponent you want to beat to get the promotion’s attention. But Jesse believes he has a read on his opponent. He describes Lamson as a tall and lanky guy who likes to play the long game but who is a wrestler in a Jonathan Meunier-like body. He likes to make people commit before shooting for takedowns. Ronson however noted that Lamson does not like to get hit and that he is not that good off his back, even though he is a quite good top control fighter.
Ronson is confident in the style matchup even though his manager advised him against taking the Lamson fight. He believed Jesse could find an easier guy to beat, but Ronson does not want to take the long road, it’s now or never for him.
If I lose to Troy Lamson, which will not happen I’m not ready to lose, I’ll probably retire. That would be 3 losses in a row, I’m 34 years old, I would be 20 and 11, the chances of me getting somewhere that pays decent money would be slim. I can’t keep hanging on to this shit forever, I need to do something else with my life.
That’s why after he defeats Troy Lamson, Ronson will go where he gets paid the most, whether it is One, Rizin, Bellator or even the PFL it does not matter. At this stage of his career, he needs to get the most money in the shorter amount of time.
However, a UFC offer would be prioritized over everything else. “I gotta get back there and get my one win I can’t just leave 0-3.” That’s why when Jesse Ronson enters the BTC cage on February 29 for the main event fight against Troy Lamson, it’s do or die for him. A loss would crush his last hopes to get that elusive UFC win, a win would keep it alive for at least another fight.
You can watch the full episode of the Faber Cast Podcast with Jesse Ronson right here: