Alan Jouban feels he has extra to prove in UFC due to modeling career
Just winning wasn’t enough for Alan Jouban in his UFC debut. While most prospects are content with any kind of "W," he badly wanted more.
Leading up to his bout with Seth Baczynski in August, Jouban got a lot of press — but not necessarily because of his fighting prowess. The Los Angeles resident drew attention because of his other job: modeling.
The dichotomy between fighter and model is pretty clear, so Jouban wanted to make sure everyone understood he was more of the former than the latter. He did just that by knocking out Baczynski in the first round after being in trouble himself early. Both men took home a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus for the scrap.
"I couldn’t have really written up a better way to win, but also to introduce myself to UFC fans," Jouban told FOX Sports this week. "Getting the win was important and I wanted to show people I could get the win and I was worth being in the UFC. That was my main goal. But honestly, I wanted a knockout."
Jouban (10-2) will have that same chip on his shoulder against Warlley Alves at UFC Fight Night on FOX Sports 1: "Shogun" vs. Saint Preux on Saturday in Uberlandia, Brazil. Alves is a top prospect and coming off winning The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3. Jouban, once again, is the underdog. And don’t think his modeling background doesn’t have something to do with that.
(catch a glimpse of Jouban at 0:11 of this Herbal Essences commercial)
"I think that will always be tagged with me," Jouban said. "I think that will always be a part of it. I don’t mind it. They can label me as a pretty boy all they want. It’s not an insult. As long as they don’t disrespect my fighting, I don’t mind it."
Jouban, 31, sees modeling as just a job, while fighting is more of a calling. He was discovered in his hometown of Lafayette, La., and modeling took him to New York, Miami and now Los Angeles. The website MostBeautifulMan.com refers to Jouban as "one of the foremost male models in Los Angeles." He has done work with Nordstroms, Neimans, Bloomingdales, Abercrombie & Fitch, Pepsi, Nike, Levi’s and Ed Hardy. Jouban is perhaps best known in that industry for his commercial for Clairol Herbal Essences.
When Jouban moved to LA at age 24, he took up Muay Thai and fell in love. For the last four years, he has been training in MMA and has earned a brown belt in 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu under Eddie Bravo. Jouban does his striking and wrestling work at Black House MMA with the likes of Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida.
"I’m absolutely a fighter," Jouban said. "The modeling thing was just something that was a fluke. … The fighting was something that was always in my heart."
Jouban admits he’s still learning and getting better in MMA. Saturday night will be another chance to not only improve but also continue shaking the model misconceptions. Knocking out Baczynski, though, was a nice start.
"I felt like if I went over there and got clobbered or even didn’t squeak out the victory, everyone would be saying that stuff about the modeling," Jouban said. "I wouldn’t be able to validate myself with the victory. I felt the need to prove it to everybody. This is what I dream about every night."