Juan Adams had been complaining on social media about how long it took for him to get another fight after he stopped Chris de la Rocha at UFC Milwaukee in December.
If one didn’t know better, you might think Adams dedicates his social media accounts to three things: Begging for a fight, his favorite snack foods and ripping UFC heavyweight Greg Hardy.
Adams finally will return to the cage for the first time since that win in his UFC debut over de la Rocha when he faces Arjan Bhullar on Saturday at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa on ESPN+.
That made him happy, but crossing the border did not. He’s been unable to find any Little Debbies items in stores around Ottawa.
“You can get them everywhere, except in Canada, I guess,” Adams said. “What’s up with that? The Canadians are missing out. They are so good.”
He proceeds to run through the lineup of snacks he enjoys, and even notes, as if he is a paid spokesman, that they always put out new and different seasonal items.
“Honestly, I love them,” he said of Little Debbies. “They’re cheap, you can find them pretty much everywhere and they’re so good. I love them. I grew up with them. My Mom stocked up on them all the time. I was a fat kid, and that’s probably why I got fat in the first place. There’s never a bad time to eat some Little Debbies.”
Except, that is, over the next few days, as Adams will be cutting weight to get to the UFC’s 266-pound heavyweight limit. He’s got a feast ready for him after the weigh-in, sans Little Debbies, with pizza and S’Mores flavored Ritz crackers; cinnamon bun-flavored Oreos; Double Stuffed Double cream fudge cookies; Jujubes and a jelly-filled cake, among other things.
Adams is 5-0 in his MMA career and earned a UFC shot on “Dana White’s Contender Series,” last summer. He’s 6-5 and athletic and seems to have a fairly complete game.
He doesn’t sound all that concerned about Bhullar, a wrestler who represented Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
His principal target is Hardy, the former NFL Pro Bowler who won his first UFC bout last week. Hardy lost his job in the NFL because of domestic violence, and Adams insists he’s a fraud.
He manages to work shots in at Hardy in almost every conversation. He did it even as he spoke of his love for MMA.
“I love MMA because to me, it’s one of the purest things you can do as a human being,” he said. “Every animal, every living being, all humans, we have this instinct in us. Think to when you were a kid, and you roughhoused with your brother or your sister and your friends. I’ve always loved that. I get paid to go out and do what comes so natural to people. We as professionals apply some science to it, but it’s just the purest, realest form of competition.
“Another thing about it is, you have to admit this, you go through your day and someone does something that pisses you off and you wish you could just haul off and punch them in the face. You don’t, because there are rules and all this kind of stuff against that. You might want to punch your boss but you can’t. I don’t want to punch Dana [White]. I don’t have a problem with him. Well, when I saw how much Greg Hardy was making, it made me want to punch him a little bit, but other than that, he’s doing great for the sport. But Greg Hardy? Yeah, man, this job, at least theoretically, gives me the opportunity to punch that guy in the face. What could be better than that?”
Adams, 27, is a unique character who clearly isn’t afraid to speak his mind. He has a mop of bushy hair that has come to define him as a professional fighter.
“My hair, it gets attention, but it’s like this: My whole life I’ve had to have super conservative haircuts. I went to an all-boys Catholic high school and then I went to Virginia Military Institute where you had to have a military standard haircut. The minute I graduated, I haven’t let a clipper touch my hair since.”
The Houston native vows that success won’t change him, and he’s one of the UFC’s young fighters with the potential to hit it big. With his personality, if he could actually fight at a high level he could turn into a big star, though he insists if he hits it big, his personality won’t change. It will, he said, simply allow him to do more to help others.
“I think that it’s going to be a good thing in that I’ll be able to provide opportunities for other people who need assistance,” Adams said. “I’m a pretty humble, low-key guy at the end of the day. ... I’ve surrounded myself with a super good team that is really intent on keeping me in check and keeping me humble. I just like to have fun and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Adams won’t be such a nice guy, though, should he ever be standing opposite Hardy in a cage.
He is miffed at the way Hardy is pushed and, what he says, is protected.
“Look, my issue with Greg is that he is getting opportunities that guys who are more deserving are getting passed over for,” Adams said. “He’s getting prominent placement on these cards. He’s making much more money than guys who are deserving of it. On top of that, you have to look at my past. I’ve lived my whole life trying to do the right thing. I was an Eagle scout. I went to the top high school available and I graduated from there. I went to college and got my degree and I had a minor. I left college and I coached kids. I do all these things and I have a clean record. The worst thing you’ll find on me is a speeding ticket.
“Now, take Greg Hardy. He’s been arrested for cocaine. He’s been arrested for domestic violence. On top of that, on top of all of that, he’s not a good fighter. That’s my issue with him. On top of his checkered past, it’s his in-cage ability. It’s subpar to say the least, man.”
He doesn’t believe the UFC will ever match him with Hardy, though Hardy may demand it because of how much Adams has talked about him. He wants to fight frequently to establish himself as the UFC’s best young heavyweight.
“Forgetting about Hardy, get me in there and let me face all these other young prospects and give me the opportunity to prove myself,” he said. “I want to be active and win fights and bring a positive light to this sport and to myself. That’s all I want and I don’t think that’s asking too much.”
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