Jonatan Westin Excited for PFL Season So Fighters Can No Longer Avoid Him

Swedish welterweight Jonatan Westin has been admittedly frustrated that so many fighters have been ducking him lately but now with the PFL season kicking off, that's no longer a problem.

Jonatan Westin has been a very frustrated fighter over the past few years.

Known as one of the top welterweights in Sweden, Westin has struggled to find worthy opponents who are willing to face him, which would then allow him to get noticed by many of the major promotions operating in the United States, Europe and other places around the globe.

Training out of the All-Stars gym in Sweden — the same facility responsible for Alexander Gustafsson, Ilir Latifi and numerous others — Westin knows he belongs among the best of the best but getting a reputation as a dangerous up and comer doesn’t always offer him many options for opposition.

“Of course it’s been really frustrating,” Westin said ahead of his debut in Professional Fighters League. “Training hard and training for fights and then one or two weeks before [the event], they cancel. They say they’re injured or first they say they want to fight me and then three days later they say they don’t want to fight me or actually step up in the cage with me and then fake an injury 10 seconds into the fight. Of course it’s frustrating.”

Perhaps that’s what’s most exciting to Westin about joining the Professional Fighters League with his first bout against UFC veteran Bojan Velickovic scheduled for Thursday night, airing live on Facebook ahead of the main broadcast on NBC Sports Network.

As much as Westin is excited about the money to be made from the season ahead, he’s mostly happy that fighters can no longer avoid facing him.

Because the PFL is set up as a season with multiple rounds leading to the grand prize, Westin knows if he keeps winning, he’ll keep fighting and that’s all he’s ever wanted.

“When they ask me what are you fighting for and I hear a lot of guys say it’s this $1 million prize, the paycheck. For me, it’s not like that,” Westin explained. “This PFL opportunity is more like everyone in every division are good but in welterweight they are really good. Every one can win the whole thing. I’m going to be able to fight those high level guys and make a really good and interesting fight against high level guys. I’ll be able to fight at least two fights but I see myself doing five fights and winning the whole thing. I know I have what it takes.

“That’s my biggest thing that I appreciate to be a part of this PFL tournament. It’s that I’m going to be able to fight high level guys who aren’t going to say two weeks before that they aren’t going to fight you.”

While he has been out of action for more than a year waiting for the opportunity to compete again, Westin promises there will be no ring rust when he gets back in action on Thursday night.

Perhaps the best part about training with a team filled with top flight talent is there’s never a shortage of sparring partners to push Westin to the brink and back again.

In fact, Westin believes that rigorous training schedule going against fighters much bigger than him is the best kind of preparation for what he’s about to face in the PFL.

“We are a great team. I’ve worked with a lot of these guys even before All-Stars. Me and Alexander Gustafsson, we go back to 2007 the first time we trained together. I have a good team around me and of course it’s a really good place to train. Everyone there is hungry and wants to be something. I think the whole team are really solid with all the trainers and we have a good staff surround us,” Westin said.

“Most of the week my sparring partners are Alex, Jimi Manuwa, Ilir Latifi, Gokhan Saki, the big light heavyweight guys and I’m a welterweight. But I think if I can spar good with them, guys in my weight class aren’t going to be a problem.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.