Image Credit: Instagram / @jessearnett

If you asked someone four years ago for a list of Canada’s top fighters, chances are the name Jesse Arnett wouldn’t have been included. But, due to a 12 fight winning streak, which includes defeating two UFC veterans and winning TKO’s bantamweight title, that’s all changed.

On September 5th, 2014, Arnett worked his way to a decision win over Michael Davis, while competing on a Havoc Fighting Championship card in Red Deer, Alberta. It was an important win for Arnett, since it returned him to the win column, after he had been submitted by Michael Imperato earlier that year. It also evened his professional record to 4-4.

Well, since Arnett defeated Davis, the Calgary fighter has gone on to win another 11 straight bouts, to extend his winning streak to 12. Recently Arnett spoke with MMA Frenzy, in advance of his title defense against Nathan Maness at TKO 44, and he had this to say about what led to his career altering, run.

“You know it’s crazy. I did my first five fights and I never trained once. I was roofing, and I was working concrete, and I thought it was fun to go down to the casino and fight on Friday and Saturday nights. The fights that I wasn’t winning, I ended up getting caught in submissions, and I’m a grappler; I shouldn’t have been caught in submissions. Then I had a good coach, a good mentor, Anderson Goncalves, stuck with me. He was like ‘look kid, come to practice, get in a gi. I found gi jiu-jitsu and all my losses are submissions, and now, grappling’s my base. That’s my strength. Try and come sub me. I’m not an easy submission by any means. I’m a brown belt in the gi.”

“I just committed to this. I was tired of going 1-1, winning one and losing one. Then, after my fifth fight, I’m like ‘man, I’m going to train this stuff’, and I just got uber focused, like I did when I grew up in amateur wrestling; I was a three time, national champion in wrestling; I’m from the Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club out in Vancouver…”

In recent years, Arnett has turned heads in the Canadian MMA as a result of the winning streak, which has seen him defeat UFC vets Roland Delorme and Johnny Bedford. The decision to add jiu-jitsu to his wrestling base has clearly paid off, as Arnett has recorded 8 wins via submission during his winning streak. Six of those have been via Brabo Choke.

“Ya. We’re on a good run right now and I’m so thankful for the sport, for my life in the sport, and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” the 34 year-old added. “I enjoyed those losses. It made me the man I am today. I’ve got a solid camp, and I’m always prepared for battle, and in 14 days, September 21st, it will be no different…”

Arnett – Maness will be part of TKO 44, which will be hosted by the Centre Videotron in Quebec City, Quebec. The card will be streamed on UFC Fight Pass.