Structure and discipline. Those are the two pieces of an adolescent’s puzzle that are needed to ensure that they are kept on the straight and narrow. Sure, young adults will party. They will have fun, but without a clear direction. Their lives can be easily led astray.

There was a point when BRACE bantamweight contender Jordan Lucas led a life with no structure. It was a foreign concept to him. However, mixed martial arts was able to fix that.

“I used to have no job and had no motivation whatsoever, and most of all I was a troublemaker,” Lucas admitted to The MMA Corner. “Joining up at Team Nemesis gave me the opposite to all these. I now have a full-time job, and I have a lot of motivation. A lot of guys my age are doing all sorts of drugs and are ruining their lives. I’m happy that mixed martial arts has opened my eyes to all of this, and I would definitely recommend it to everybody.

“I work full-time as a renderer. It gets pretty full on at times, mixing [work] with training. My hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and then I’m training from 4 to 7:30 p.m., six days a week. I have a lot of dedication, though, and I won’t stop until I succeed and reach my goals.”

Like most Australian kids who live in the state of Victoria, football (soccer) was the chosen sport for a young Lucas. It wasn’t until he was looking for a competitive edge on the football field that he found mixed martial arts. From that point, everything changed.

“I got into mixed martial arts with Nemesis MMA when I was 16, just as extra fitness for football preseason,” Lucas said. “I had a lot of anger as a kid, and training helped a lot with that. I gave up football a short time after and have not looked back since. Mixed martial arts has given me a purpose and has changed me as a person for the better.

“I’ve always been a competitive person. I continue to fight because I love everything about this sport. It’s a feeling like no other, being in the ring or cage, and I want to prove that anybody can turn their life around with dedication and a single goal.”

Lucas sports an unblemished record of five wins from five professional fights. His next opportunity comes on May 17 when he faces Richie Ivory in the opening round of the BRACE 2014 bantamweight tournament at BRACE 27 in Canberra, Australia. The bout will mark just the second time that Lucas has fought outside the state of Victoria. He is out to impress and plans to become a staple of BRACE’s nationwide events.

“It feels good. I have fought on some good shows, but yet to have fought on BRACE,” Lucas admitted. “I am pleased with the opportunity that [BRACE CEO] Kya [Pate] and BRACE have given me. [Fans] can expect to see me coming forward and putting on a fight. I don’t come to win on points, and I haven’t been in a boring fight yet. It’s what the people pay to see, and I like to give them their money’s worth. I’ve been training hard and will be prepared for the outcome, whatever it may be.”

The sport of mixed martial arts has been growing in the state of Victoria, where professional bouts are still only allowed to take place in a ring.

“[Mixed martial arts] has always been here. There are a lot of talented guys in Melbourne. A lot of people underestimate us because we don’t have a cage and [there aren’t] fight shows every weekend,” Lucas explained. “Also, promoters not wanting to pay for flights for us guys because of us not being able to sell tickets in their states, which is understandable in a way. But we are proving that we are some of the best in Australia, and it’s good to see promoters start to come around and put us on their cards. Expect to see a lot more up-and-comers from Melbourne in the future.”

It is important for Lucas, at such a young age, to have the right guides to take him through the sport.

“I have a lot of support from my family, friends and team, but my biggest idols and influences are my coaches, Dennis Kelly and Phillip Lai. These guys have put in the hard yards and have sacrificed a lot to be where they are today,” Lucas said. “They motivate me every day and give up their own time just to better my game. I consider them family and would not be where I am today without them.”

Lucas has a lot of potential for what he can achieve in the sport. However, even with an undefeated record, he isn’t getting ahead of himself. He knows that the best is yet to come in his flourishing career.

“I don’t want to sit here and say the UFC [is the goal]. Of course, that would be a dream come true. But, truth is, anything can happen in this sport,” Lucas admitted. “One minute you can be up, and the next you can have setbacks from a single punch. My main goal for now is to fight the best in Australia and to be the best in Australia at my weight division. I want to be known as a guy that everybody wants to watch fight. And once I achieve these goals, I will set myself new ones until hopefully one day I’m competing on a world stage. I only just turned 20, so I still have a long time to go in this sport.”

The sport of mixed martial arts has become the vessel that Lucas needed in his life. Things could have been different. He could have continued going to the parties. He could have stayed out of work and bounced from short-term job to short-term job. Once he found the discipline that is full-time training, that’s when it all made sense. That’s when he knew that being a fighter was going to make him a better person.

Jordan would like to thank his team at Nemesis MMA. He would also like to thank his close friend, Thomas Ruderman, for supporting him from day one and helping him with anything and everything. He would also like to thank his sponsors: RVDDW, Juggs and Miles from MVNT who supplies him with all his gear, Luke Troiani M.S.T, GTE, Simple Cravings, Woodfire Restaurant, Bellfield Brewery and Duke Landscapes. Follow Lucas on Twitter: @jordyshowtime

About The Author

Staff Writer, Australia

Located in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Neil Rooke has been writing about the sport of MMA since 2011. In the past, Neil has written for Cage Junkies and has written for Fight! Magazine as well as Fist! Fight Magazine. Neil is also a regular contributor to Fight! Magazine Australia and Yahoo! Sports Singapore.