D’Juan “Dirty South” Owens
I’ve been lucky enough to see D’Juan Owens fight live twice – at Complete Devastation 4 & 5 back in 2012. Back on March 31st he won by RNC in the 3rd round, and later in July he lost a close decision to The Ultimate Fighter competitor Jeff Smith. Win or lose, Owens always is exciting to watch fight. He is fresh off a dominant unanimous decision at Caged Madness 22 against Ian Rammel in Ohio, and is on the move up the MMA food chain after being signed to the XFC to fight at XFC 22.
I was lucky enough to interview D’Juan as he prepares to face Nathan Landwehr on a fight card also featuring the Carroll brothers, Corey Hill and a fight between Jason “Ronin” Hicks & Scott Holtzman with the winner most likely facing XFC champion “Notorious” Nick Newell for the title. Owens is a fighter to watch, as mentioned on last Sunday’s episode of the MMA Rundown – a show which featured D’Juan in 3 different segments. Fighters in the Altoona area were able to witness Owens (fighting out of Durham, NC) twice in 2012, and now we can watch him fight in the XFC on AXS.TV – and believe me when I tell you that you need to watch him fight at XFC 22 on February 22nd.
Here’s 10 Questions With D’Juan “Dirty South” Owens.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is D’Juan “Dirty South” Owens and I’m fighting out of Durham NC. I primarily train at Triangle
Jiu-Jitsu in Durham but I have my fight camps at the MMA Institute in Richmond VA.
2. How did you get started in MMA?
I don’t have a background in any specific martial art. I was a casual fan who fell in love with the sport and decided to join a gym one day. Believe it or not I never played ANY organized sport in my youth.
3. What is it like training out of your gym?
My gym Triangle Jiu Jitsu is a Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu gym. We focus on all aspects of Jiu-Jitsu from self-defense, sport Jiu-Jitsu, and mma. The MMA Institute is a MMA gym period. There are about 10 professional fighters there and everyone has aspirations of making it to the big show…….and we will.
4. What do you feel your strengths are as a fighter? What aspects of your training do you feel you need to work on to become a more complete fighter?
I believe my biggest strengths are my striking and my ground and pound. An aspect I’ve been focusing on more lately is my wrestling and cage-work. I’ve also been known to be a slow-starter who turns it up more as the fight progresses but I believe I’ve grown out of that.
5. Who are some of your role models?
As far as mma goes I really like the way Jose Aldo fights. I feel that he’s dangerous wherever the fight goes and that’s exactly how I aspire to be. There’s a difference between a being a good fighter and a dangerous fighter. You can be dangerous, and not particularly good. You can be good (hard to beat), and not particularly dangerous. The best fighters are both. There are people who are incredibly skilled at winning mma bouts but they what I would consider dangerous. That’s due to the “mma game” that seems to be gaining popularity these days. I’ll save that rant for another day though….
6. Which of your previous fights do you feel is your favorite? Is there any fighter on your record you would like to fight again?
My favorite fight up to this point is probably a fight I had in PA against Jeff Smith. I lost a close decision but I swayed the hometown crowd and stuck it to the PA commission who almost didn’t sanction the fight because I didn’t have many pro fights at the time and he was 10-1 and had been on TUF. As far as rematches, I want to fight anyone that’s ever beat me. Including ammy fights lol.
7. If you could choose your next fight, who would you pick for your opponent?
If I could choose my next fight I would fight Junie Browning or Rodrigo Almeida. Rodrigo and I had a title fight fall through back in July, and Junie is well………Junie.
8. When is your next fight and who will you be facing?
My next fight is February 22nd in Charlotte NC. This fight is on the XFC’s 22nd show and my opponent is Nate Landwehr.
9. Where do you see your MMA career being in the next 2 – 5 years?
In the next 2-5 years I’ll be competing in the UFC’s featherweight division and striving for the gold. Literally and figuratively.
10. Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
I want to thank my family, my training partners, Seth Shamp, Jake Whitfield, Aaron Fisher, Rick McCoy and every coach that has helped me become a better martial artist. I want to thank Molly Hoskinson, Dave Mansel, Roy Marsh, and most importantly James Hogaboom.
With Aracely Valenzuela
With Roy Marsh
With Terrell Hobbs & Keith Bell
With Billy Dowey
With legendary catch wrestler, Billy Robinson