Dustin Joynson isn’t the type of fighter to make bold proclamations. All he wants to do is show the global fan base what he is capable of inside the Circle.
“I feel like I’m pretty humble in most senses, and I don’t like to talk too much about what I’m great at. I’m just hoping for a good fight,” Joynson says.
“I just want [people] to see who I am, to know that I’m not just some brute. I want people to look at me like I’m an athlete, that I clearly know what I’m doing when I’m in there.”
The British Columbia native believes that’s exactly what will set him apart in the heavyweight ranks. In a division of giants, Joynson thinks he will be able to prove that size isn’t everything as he starts his charge toward the top.
“I’m a big, strong guy compared to most people, but you look at all the other heavyweights, and I’m actually on the middle to smaller end it seems like, nowadays,” he explains.
“I’m like 235 [pounds], 240 at the most. I try to use my speed and size, and I just want to look technically sound. I don’t want to be one of those guys that’s like, ‘He’s good, but only for the first few minutes if he catches you.’
“I want [people] to be like, ‘The whole fight he’s dangerous. He’s going to grind it out. He’s going to come at you with different things and switch it up. He’s an athlete.’”
Joynson knows that his first task will be a tough one.
Grishenko exploded onto the global stage at “ONE on TNT IV” in April. At that event, he stopped the meteoric rise of Senegalese wrestling sensation “Reug Reug” Oumar Kane via second-round TKO to bring his record to a spotless 4-0.
The Belarusian showed that he can absorb pressure and still be dangerous, which makes him a good match for the man from The Fitness Academy, who is 6-0 (1 NC) with four finishes.
“I didn’t watch the full fight. I just watched the ending of it. And clearly, he broke [Kane’s] spirit,” Joynson says.
“When [‘Reug Reug’] realized he wasn’t finishing this fight and probably wasn’t having as easy a time as he thought he might, it probably just broke him a little bit mentally. Good on Kirill for getting that [finish].”
From what he saw of Grishenko’s ONE debut, Joynson knows he won’t be in for an easy night.
The 36-year-old Canadian would love to earn a highlight-reel finish, but he’s prepared to win in any fashion as long as he gets his ONE Championship career off to a solid start.
“It’s always a hard question [about how I want to win] because, if I answer it, it comes off conceited or too overconfident, but I’m not. I’m just looking for the win no matter what,” he says.
“As long as my hand is raised, I’m going to be happy regardless. And if it’s in spectacular fashion, great. Hopefully, if it is, that moves me up a bit further.”
While he’s not going to start calling out names or demand a shot at the ONE Heavyweight World Title if he scores the win, Joynson knows that victory will put him in a good position.
That’s why his main focus is on a positive outcome – so he can keep building.
However, the British Columbia native would feel confident if he got the opportunity to take on his countryman and reigning heavyweight king Arjan “Singh” Bhullar in the future, and he would jump at the chance if it presented itself after ONE: NEXTGEN.
“I don’t feel like I deserve to be anywhere near the top because I haven’t done anything there yet. But I’m hoping after this fight, maybe I could make some waves. And I’d gladly challenge Arjan for that belt. Let’s keep it in Canada,” Joynson says.
“It’s funny, I’ve trained with Arjan before in Vancouver, so I do feel like I would have a few tricks on how to beat him. But I definitely try not to overlook people.
“I just tell myself, ‘You’re fighting this guy. It’s just one guy. Three five-minute rounds.’ I can do my best, grind it out, and swing with the best of them.”