If the name Jarred Mercado sounds familiar it’s not because you’ve seen him in a cage or read about his record (yet); it’s because you’ve seen his articles and read his writing as part of the Five Ounces of Pain team since coming on board in late 2010. However, Mercado’s accomplishments go far beyond keeping fans informed online, as he is also an accomplished wrestler out of Northwestern who now calls the notable group at Grudge Training Center home.
Mercado will take the weapons he’s sharpened under the tutelage of Trevor Wittman and others at Grudge into the ring this Friday night for the first time as a professional Mixed Martial Artist at “RMBB: Caged Chaos” in Sheridan, Colorado as part of the card’s main event.
“It’s great because I’m finally about to progress towards my dreams and goals,” Mercado explained in regards to earning his first paycheck for work in a cage after going 2-0 in amateur competition. “Most college wrestlers jump right into fighting. I went and joined one of the best camps in the world, trained for two and a half years, fought some amateur MMA and kickboxing and got my skills to a level I feel comfortable with. The amateur fights felt like practice and now I can actually move forward and put myself on the MMA map.”
The 27-year old should face a solid challenge in the form of vastly more-experienced Nick Buschman. While Buschman may only hold a 4-12 record he is known regionally as a game opponent who simply loves to fight regardless of outcome.
“Nick is a vet; he has a ton of fights. He will take a fight against anyone short notice or not,” he explained of Buschman. “In November he fought blackbelt stud Tyrone Glover (6-0) on two days notice. Nick has a wrestling background, likes to scramble, throws big punches, and is just very scrappy.”
As far as what he offers on his end, Mercado made his love of competition clear and, while acknowledging his mat-based acumen, implied an interest in finishing things off rather than coasting to victory from the top.
“(Fans) should expect to see an explosive wrestler who has developed a strong ground game. I fight hard, and I hope people see how passionate I am about fighting. Every time you see me after this I will be an improved version as I never stop training and learning.”
Part of the group assisting him in doing so are of course his trainers and sponsors, as Mercado acknowledged appreciation towards, “All my coaches and teammates at Grudge and Easton’s, especially my boxing coach Paulino Ibarra and BJJ coach Jeff Suskin. Also, thanks to my sponsors who really make a difference for small local fighters chasing a dream – Max Muscle Highlands Ranch, BDH Insurance, Spill Lounge, M.A.T, and Knockout brands.”