When Stéphane Patry resurrected TKO last summer, his mission was clear: find the best young talents in the country, put them on a path to success by providing difficult challenges in order to get them ready to do the same in the big time that is the UFC. If you’re a longtime fan, that mission may sound familiar as it is the same philosophy he espoused in TKO’s previous iteration and which made St-Pierre, Hominick, Loiseau, Côté, Stout and many more into household names.
Enter Charles Jourdain, a highly regarded young talent, all of 21 years old, who had made his pro debut just a few months earlier, winning a fight via a spectacular flying knee. Jourdain has everything a promoter hopes for: the talk, the look and, most importantly, the talent to back it up.
Since TKO’s return Jourdain has been nothing short of masterful. Fans witnessed his awesome strikes when he scored a TKO victory over Marc-Antoine Lidji last November followed by a much more technically-focused Jourdain who dominated Michaël Cyr last January. That victory changed the fans’ perception of the youngster as he moved from prospect to breakout star. With that however, comes great expectations. The young man’s perception of himself and his style very much explain why his fanbase is growing exponentially with each performance: “The key word in mixed martial arts to me is art. Art is an expression. If I just came in and did the basics, I’d be a good fighter but not a great artist.”
Jourdain was originally slated to face the always dangerous Maxime Dubois this week at TKO38 but an injury forced the latter out of action. The search for an opponent took Stéphane Patry across the Atlantic to find Mathieu Morciano, an explosive fighter who has every intention of playing spoiler. Jourdain realizes that although his foe is not backed by as much fanfare as he, he cannot allow himself to underestimate him: “He’s the best fighter I’ve faced so far. He has dangerous hands, likes to take chances and I know he’s coming to fight.”
There is a lot on the line in this fight for Jourdain for, as has already been confirmed by TKO, a victory here would put him in line for the very dangerous Will Romero, a man he actually called out following his last victory. Although the prospects of what will come next very much interest the fan favorite, he remains focused on the task at hand and executing his game plan: “We’ll see what he can take after the first strike. My opponents like to talk but as soon as I hit them once they back down. If he wants to go to war, the fans will see all my new kicks and flying knees. He’s light on his feet but his judo is average. I have more reach and better muay thai.”
As for his prediction, Jourdain leaves no doubt: “I’m gonna knock him out in the second round.”