“I thought that because I could run fast and jump high, I was an athlete, but I realized I was nothing like an athlete when it comes to Olympic lifts, and now I’m feeling that grown-man strength. The weights I’m lifting keep getting higher and I feel more powerful, more confident; I can do more rounds, and I’m more explosive.”

In addition to bringing about a physical transformation in Jourdain, his disappointing 2020 campaign also helped re-affirm to the talented featherweight that making a living by stepping into the Octagon and testing himself against another man is how he wants to spend his days.

“I think there are different types of people in this world and the type of person you are will influence the type of fighter you are,” began Jourdain, who was initially slated to face Steve Garcia on Saturday evening before the former Contender Series contestant was forced out due to injury and replaced by Rojo. “There are guys who are very competitive, like Khabib — 29-0, never lost, barely lost a round – and he got big from that. Then we have a guy like Dustin Poirier, who had so many ups and downs, but kept learning and fought his way back to a title again.

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“I grew up in a very privileged home — I never grew up with a lot of hardships, so I had all the reasons to stop when I faced adversity, but I never did, which is where ‘J’amais fini’ comes from.

“Of course, it’s going to be hard for me because of the lack of intense life I had,” he added. “I’m glad now that I’m living through these struggles because I think it builds character and I can work my way up to the Top 15, Top 10 before I face other hardships like I did before.”

Armed with a new outlook, improved strength and athleticism, and a drive to get back to his familiar winning ways, Jourdain is excited for Saturday’s contest and intent on making sure that when he leaves the Octagon this weekend, his gas tank is empty.

“I’m tired of finishing a fight knowing that I could have done more and that I still have gas in the tank, wondering ‘Why don’t I use that gas?’” he said. “(As for the fight), it won’t lack any action and I think it will be who has the most heart, who can stand and bang, and I’ve never lost a fight like that.

“When it’s time to do a cowboy fight — shoot first and ask questions later — that’s the kind of fight I like.”