TORONTO - If Jesse (The Body Snatcher) Ronson hadn't elected to become an MMA fighter, he may have done well as a doctor. Or perhaps butcher.
The 26-year-old lightweight from London, Ont., known for his body punches, has done his homework on the human body.
"Everybody can take a punch to the head," Ronson said enthusiastically. "Body shots slow people down, they change the entire pace of the fight. And there's more organs in the torso — all you've got is your brain up there.
"If you hurt somebody's liver, the solar plexus, the spleen. There's so much more to damage in the body and it takes much more out of somebody that a head shot."
Ronson will be looking to target a few body parts when he faces veteran American Ryan (Diamond) Healy on Friday in the co-main event of a Score Fighting Series card in Hamilton.
Healy may want to protect a few specific places.
"I like to target the sternum, the lower intestine, obviously the liver shot and the spleen, believe it or not, on the left side of the body," said Ronson.
"Because I'm left-handed so that would be my lead hook side. I've hurt a lot of people with that shot and people didn't think that you could hurt somebody to the left side of the body because the liver's on the right."
"You could say I've read a book or two on anatomy," he added.
The five-foot-10 Ronson, who normally walks around at 180 pounds but cuts to make 155, enjoys watching Bas Rutten's body work back in the day. He also savours the body punching by training partner Mark (The Machine) Hominick.
Anyone who doubts Ronson's body shots should check out the footage of his pro debut in November 2009 against Eric St. Pierre. The pain on St. Pierre's face is easy to spot following Ronson body shot and the fight ends seconds afterwards.
The main event at the Hamilton Place Theatre features former UFC welterweight Forrest (The Meat Cleaver) Petz and Jordan (Young Gun) Mein of Lethbridge, Alta.
Petz (25-9) is on a four-fight win streak. Mein (25-8) is currently on loan to The Score Fighting Series from Strikeforce where he has gone 2-1 in his last three fights.
Ronson (11-2) has won his last six and is looking to draw some attentions from the UFC. To that end, he now shares the same management as Hominick, Sam (Hands of Stone) Stout, Brian Stann, Dustin Poirier and some other UFC fighters.
"That's all I want for Christmas is that UFC contract. So an impressive win or a win in general this fight, hopefully gets me what I want," Ronson said.
Healy (23-11-1) is a veteran opponent whose record includes fights in both the WEC and Strikeforce.
"He's been fighting longer than I've been training," Ronson said of the 29-year-old Healy, who made his pro debut in 2002.
Healy's twin brother, Pat, is also a fighter.
Ronson, who has been paying special attention to his wrestling and jiu-jitsu for this fight, trains at the Adrenaline Training Center and Round One Kickboxing, both in London.
For this fight, he has also worked out at Para Bellum MMA in Oakville, Ont., with Rory McDonnell and the Bay Area Athletic Club in Burklington with five-time world champion kickboxer Muzammal Nawaz.
He wanted to test himself with sparring partners other than the ones he knows at his London gyms.
"This training camp I've never been able to get comfortable," he said. "I've always been in hostile territory, sparring with new guys every week. It will help me with this fight."
When not training, Ronson teaches martial arts and is a personal trainer.
A former high school wrestler and rugby player, Ronson was drawn to martial arts in 2006 after a friend told him about Round One Kickboxing, which was located literally at the end of his street.
He soon learned he had a proficiency at kickboxing, before switching to MMA because that's where the money was.
Other main card bouts Friday are Will Romero versus Tristan Johnson, Alex Ricci versus Kevin Morin, Jason Saggo versus Iraj Hadin and Ryan Dickson versus Brandt Dewsbery.
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