Jim Alers, (9-1 MMA), is a fast rising featherweight who gets the opportunity to fight for the vacant Cage Warriors Featherweight championship against Joni Salovaara. The bout headlines Cage Warriors 53 in Glasgow, Scotland on 13th April. A championship fight always brings with it fireworks and this one will definitely be one to watch. Jim took some time out to speak to me about his upcoming fight, fighting for Cage Warriors and his MMA experiences.
Hi Jim, thanks for taking the time to do this. Can you tell people a little about yourself?
“My name is Jim Alers but lately I have been known as The Beast. I train out of sunny Orlando Florida at Alliance Orlando Jiu jitsu Center. For those of you that have seen any of my fights or weigh in will know that I am a happy guy. I always have a smile on my face and fooling around before and after the fights. During the fights however I know when to get serious. I am 26 years young and I am married to my high school sweet heart”.
You are fighting Joni Salovaara at Cage Warriors. how much do you know about him?
“I have seen some video of Joni and I know that he is a very well rounded fighter with a good amount of experience. I know he has fought many tough opponents in MMA and he has also had some boxing and kick boxing matches as well. Joni is from Finland and I think people over there are just born naturally tough so I am expecting a very exciting fight”.
How is your training going? Is there anything you’ve had to change for this fight?
“My training is going great! I am improving in all areas of my game and learning lots of new tricks that I can’t wait to show in the fight. I traveled to the middle of the US to train with famous MMA and Kickboxing coach Duke Roufus for a portion of my training camp. I absorbed so much knowledge while training out there and also got the chance to train with high level UFC fighters like Anthony Petitis. As far as changing anything for this fight I don’t think that I have that much. I feel that I should just prepare for everything and anything”.
You will be fighting for the vacant featherweight championship and is the main event of the evening. How does it feel to be the main event and to have an opportunity for the belt?
“This is a dream come true! In my eyes Cage Warriors is the biggest promotion in the UK right now and to fight for their featherweight world championship is an honor. Being in the main event is a lot of pressure of course. Everyone who is in the arena wants to see a great fight at the end of the night so of course that’s what I am going to give them. My very first fight was for Cage Warriors USA so to fight for this title 10 fights later is incredible and it shows that I have gone a very long way in my fight career”.
You have fought at Cage Warriors before. What makes Cage Warriors a great to show to fight on?
“Cage Warriors treats their fighters with the most respect that I have seen throughout my fight career. They just don’t sign you to a contract, have you fight and call it a day. They actually check up on you, make sure training is going well, and ask if they can do anything to help along the way. They are genuine guys working over there and I am proud to be a part of this growing organization. I have also said it before; guys who fight on Cage Warriors go to the big show. Many fighters in the UFC have been past CW champions so this title could push me toward the right direction”.
Cage warriors 53 takes place in Glasgow, Scotland. Will this be your first time in Scotland?
“Yes, this will be my first time in Scotland and the UK. I plan on doing some traveling while I am over that side of the world and seeing some friends that I made throughout my life. I want to embrace the Scottish culture not just see it”.
Is it correct that you have never been knocked out or submitted in your career and how much confidence does this give you in your fights?
“I actually have been TKO’d in my 5th MMA fight. I however learned so much from that fight and I train so much on the mistakes that lead to that defeat so that it can never happen again. I always go into my fights confident; if you go into a fight with any doubt you already lost the first battle”.
You are currently on a 5 fight win streak. Does this add any extra pressure going into fights?
“No I don’t feel any pressure. I don’t think about my record that much I just take it one fight at a time. I want to go in the cage, get the win and then start training again to become a better fighter”.
I will never experience getting into the cage and fighting. And for that I have so much respect for everyone who does it. What’s the feeling like when the cage door is shut and it’s just you and your opponent?
“It’s really hard to explain this to people who have never fought. I feel very calm in there like it is what I was meant to do from the beginning. I know that it is either me or my opponent going down and I have to do everything in my power to make sure that I come out on top. I usually say that it is my form of drugs. Being in the cage gives me a high that only an MMA fight can give someone”.
What is the best thing about fighting and what motivates you to fight?
“I love competition. Being able to see how my skills work in real life situations and knowing that I worked just a little bit harder than my opponent makes it worth it. I love that my students look up to me and that I make them all proud when they see me in the cage doing what I love to do”.
How far do you want to go in MMA?
“I think every fighter wants to make it to the big show. That has been my dream since I first started years ago. I just don’t want to make it there though I want to make it and be successful when I get there. I think that cage warriors is preparing me for the many hard fights that will be there when I arrive”.
Who has had the most influence on your career to date?
“My coach, my mentor and my friend Hank Porcher has been there for me since the beginning. He has helped me through hard times and been there with me through my happiest of times. Hank knows just what to say when I feel that I can’t go anymore. I am very thankful I have someone in my life that pushes me in my career the way that he does”.
And finally, is their anybody you’d like to thank?
“I will like to thank God first, without him then none of this possible. My wife because she puts up with me when I am in the crankiest of weight cutting moods and supports my career in so many ways and of course my coaches Hank Porcher, Bruno Malfacinie and Pichi. I will also like to thank my teammates and friends at Alliance Orlando, Thank you Brad for everything you have done for me. Last but not least thank you to all my sponsors that have helped me get ready for this fight (NVRTAP, NVRSTOP, Crossfit Tough as Nails, MASS Suit, Well Rounded Warrior, and MAL)”.