1/28/21 CORRECTION: A preview issue of the article referred to Bruno Oliveira as Bruno Silva. This has been changed.
The pandemic forced Josh Fremd to become a full-time fighter. He thinks it will only make him stronger on Friday.
It’s undeniable that COVID-19 has dramatically changed the paths of many people since the global spread of the virus in early 2020. For millions, the pandemic meant a loss of income. A large portion of unemployment came from those working in the hospitality industry, which has seen a steep decline in business.
Among the millions who have lost their job due to the pandemic was MMA fighter Josh Fremd. Previously working as both a bartender and restaurant manager, Fremd found himself on unemployment checks by late October. As the severity of the pandemic took Fremd’s two jobs, he did something that he always wanted to do: give fighting his entire focus.
Now training two to three times a day, Fremd has a complete focus on sharpening his skills in MMA. Ahead of a LFA main event fight on Friday night, Fremd claims viewers “are going to see a levelled up Josh.”
“Though I lost my job, I was able to do what I came out here [Colorado] to do what I want to do … I’m living the way I’ve wanted to live for a long time,” said Fremd in an interview with Knockdown News earlier in the month.
Looking forward to his fight against Bruno Oliveira at the Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas, USA, it seemed like Fremd felt like he turned a negative into a positive in 2020. After all, Fremd was coming back from 2019, a year he described as one of the worst in his life due to an orbital surgery and knee surgery.
Fremd had a strong 2020 that ultimately pushed him into the main event spot on Friday. Earning two wins under the LFA banner within the year, the comeback run for Fremd won over viewers, who recently chose him as LFA’s “Male Fighter of the Year.”
“Being able to come back from those injuries and be able to have those performances and getting recognition for the hard work I’ve put in, it makes me feel good but also makes me that much more motivated to go out and do even better the next time,” said Fremd.
While Fremd is in a big position on Friday night, it wasn’t exactly what he thought his next fight would be like. Following his win against Antonio Jones in October, Fremd asked for either a UFC fight or an LFA title fight. Unfortunately, Friday night will not be either. Fremd voiced his slight displeasure on the situation, although also emphasized that he is still progressing and moving up career-wise.
“Any time that you can be main event on a promotion like LFA, who is historically a feeder to the UFC, that’s good,” said Fremd. “I was bummed out it wasn’t for the belt, you know, but, what are you going to do. It’s not my call.”
Should he pull off a good performance on Friday night, Fremd’s goal of either a UFC bout of an LFA title bout remains the goal.
Regarding his performance this weekend, Fremd hopes to showcase his striking. Fremd claims his last two matchups were against shorter, more grappling based opponents, whereas Oliveira will present a challenge that allows more striking.
“I’m excited. I think it’s going to be a fun fight. I think I’m going to be able to knock him out. I think I’m going to be able to show my skill finally,” said Fremd when talking about the fight.
While Fremd thinks he can knock Oliveira out, that certainly is not his sole goal of the fight. Fremd told Knockdown News that his goal at the end of the day is to simply “show up in the best shape.”
However, the precedent of Fremd’s last two fights both being brutal knockouts may give fans the expectation that he will do it again. Fremd welcomes the prospect of a knockout, although in general his goal is to simply put on a good performance.
“I wanna go out there and break someone’s will. If it just so happens that I separate someone from their consciousness, [that’s an] easy night for me,” said Fremd.
Fremd will be able to ride the momentum of 2020 and showcase the skills he has honed with a full focus on MMA on Friday night.