Mixed martial arts (MMA) is truly a tough sport. You must work your butt off inside and outside the gym, sometimes you are forced to train far off from your loved ones, must be disciplined on the food that you eat and it takes a lot of determination to keep your hunger for this sport. But in the end of the day, those sacrifices you have made can be replaced by satisfaction because win or lose, if you know that you gave your all in a fight, you won’t regret anything.
Some fights for fame and fortune, but in the case of Ronald “Machine Gun” Jhun, fighting is not just to earn money or to become famous; to him, fighting is more than material things, in his understanding, being an MMA fighter is a way of life, it is doing whatever it takes to get to the top.
Ron Jhun has been in the business for 15 years now. He has already fought in the world’s biggest MMA promotions such as Shooto, Strikeforce KOTC and UFC. He has fought some of the dangerous fighters in the fight business. He holds a win over the man who invented the Von Flue Choke, Jason Von Flue, former UFC lightweight contender, Joe “Daddy” Stevenson, Shannon Ritch and many other top ranked fighters in the world today.
Jhun’s last MMA appearance was against A Sol Kwon in 2010 at HEAT 16, losing his Korean foe via 2nd round submission. He then decided to rest for a while to spend time with his wife, kids and grandchild.
I guess if you really love this sport, even though you’ve been out for a while, there will always be a part of you that pushes you to train and fight again. That’s why on February 16, better watch out, because “Machine Gun” is making his return at PXC 35 against Legacy Boracay’s Zebaztian Kadestam.
Here’s our interview with one of Hawaii’s Pride, Ronald “Machine Gun” Jhun.
MMA Orient: For the sake of PXC fans in the Philippines who don’t know much about you, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Ronald Jhun a.k.a Machine Gun – Born and raised in Hawaii, been fighting MMA since 1998. I fought in the UFC, Strikeforce, Shooto Japan, Superbrawl, King Of The Cage and many more fighting organizations around the world. I’m a former King of the Cage Welterweight Champion.
MMA Orient: You have been fighting for almost 16 years now. What kept you to stay motivated in the sport of MMA?
Well, upon discovering MMA, I used to get in trouble a lot and needed something to keep me out of trouble. Since then I got Married to my beautiful wife Kim had 5 beautiful kids and now a grandchild, I’m truly blessed. They are my inspiration to continue to do what I do, along with my students and fans.
MMA Orient: You are fighting on February 16 at PXC 35 against a top welterweight prospect, Zebaztian Kadestam. Give us your thoughts on your next opponent.
I saw him fight at PXC 34, he looks like he’s well rounded should make for a good fight.
MMA Orient: This is going to be your first fight since 2010. Can you tell us something about your preparations going to this fight?
Training pretty much the same as usual, just adding in some strength and conditioning and a lot of timing.
MMA Orient: What do you think will be your biggest advantage against Kadestam?
Definitely my experience will be an advantage over him. Just need to stay focused on the task at hand.
MMA Orient: What holes do you see in Kadestam’s game?
Didn’t really get to see any holes in his game but noticed he has some wrestling and ground experience and likes the ground.
MMA Orient: You are training at 808 Top Team in Hawaii with some of the best fighters in the business. What is it like for you to be a part of a fight team that includes PXC lightweight champion Harris Sarmiento, Louis Smolka, Russel Doane and many other talented fighters over there?
Well, to be honest, I’m the founder of 808 Fight Factory and now 808 Top Team. So I’m pretty much the leader of this stable of talented fighters. It’s an honor and privilege to train with so many talented fighters.
MMA Orient: Could you tell us more about 808 Top Team’s fighters program and how it has elevated your overall game?
Training with 808 Top Team on a daily basis is a plus because you need to bring your “A” game every time you train. The energy in the gym is at a high level and it’s what we need. We train stand up as well the ground game from boxing and kickboxing to wrestling to grappling.
MMA Orient: How has being with 808 Top Team changed you as a person and as a fighter?
Well, I’m pretty much the leader of this team and lead by example. My experiences are a testimony to my team.
MMA Orient: What’s your favorite strike/submission to use in any fight?
Striking then ground and pound.
MMA Orient: Who is your biggest inspiration?
My kids, training partners then my fans.
MMA Orient: Do you like to stand with your opponents or take them to the ground?
I like to stand up first then ground and pound second.
MMA Orient: I know that in this sport, age does not matter. But are there any moments where your wife asked you on when are you going to retire?
Not just yet. I feel there is a lot left in me to compete. Age is just a number and I feel I’m at the peak of my career; just need to stay focus.
MMA Orient: If you weren’t a pro fighter, what do you think you’ll be doing for a living?
I’m a sheet metal worker by trade for the past 24 years.
MMA Orient: We all know that all fighters have a busy schedule but for sure there are things you love outside the gym and cage. What does Ron Jhun do in his free time?
Outside of training and fighting I like to spend time with my 5 kids and grand child, surfing and golfing are my other hobbies when I have the time.
MMA Orient: What can your fans expect from you on Feb. 16 against Zebaztian Kadestam?
Expect fireworks cause I’m coming there with both guns blazing.
MMA Orient: Any sponsors/people you want to thank?
First off I’d like to thank God first and foremost my wife and kids for always being by my side, my team 808 Top Team without these guys I would be inspired to do what I do, my fans special thanks to Iridium Sports Agency, Hawaiian Fight Gear, Island Athletes, 808 Top Team, Powerhouse MMA, War Horse, MMA Hawaii, Fiah, Oica, Almighty, Ltd., Dr. James Okamoto Ltd, Mentom, AGN, Alliance.