Now that baby is on board, Jabouin free of stress as WEC debut approaches

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Not many fighters welcome a card being postponed, since delays play havoc with finely tuned training regimens. And no one wants to endure the hardship of mixed martial arts training any longer than necessary.
Montreal featherweight Yves (Tiger) Jabouin had no complaints when his Sept. 2 World Extreme Cagefighting bout was pushed back to October, however. Jabouin's wife was due the same week as the original fight date.
But an injury to main event fighter Ben Henderson took care of that. The card in Youngstown, Ohio, was rescheduled to Saturday in San Antonio, Texas.
"Everything worked out perfectly," said Jabouin, whose wife gave birth to baby girl Kiana two days after the Youngstown date.
The 30-year-old Jabouin dodged a bullet ahead of his WEC debut.
"Definitely, definitely. It would have been a major stress factor," he said.
The father of two takes on Raphael Assuncao (13-1) on the undercard of the interim WEC lightweight title bout between Henderson and Donald (Cowboy) Cerrone. The fight, at the AT&T Center, is for the interim title because champion Jamie Varner has not fought since injuring himself in a split decision win over Cerrone in January.
Jabouin (14-4) and Assuncao are featured on the main card, meaning TV time although Canadian fans will have to wait to see it on tape delay. Still, it's a big opportunity for the Haiti-born 145-pounder who put his career as a multimedia artist on hold a year ago to pursue MMA full time.
"I used to work full(-time) jobs and compete and still had a good record, so I always knew once I dedicated myself to the sport that I was going to get to the top," Jabouin said.
Helped by that training and a move down to featherweight from lightweight, the five-foot-seven Jabouin has won his last four fights - his last by a spinning back kick. Still he was not making much as a fighter. He hopes to change that with a winning run in the WEC.
"That's why it took such a long time for me to do this step (train full time)," he said of the finances of fighting. "Even now, if it wasn't for that big break in the WEC I'd probably have gone back to work."
Wife Helen is also behind him, even when the Assuncao fight was uncomfortably near her due date.
"We have our fingers crossed but she supports me 100 per cent," Jabouin said before the fight. "We'll get through, we'll deal with this. We'll figure out something."
Since fate stepped in, Jabouin's wife has been supporting the cause by looking after Kiana and 20-month-old son Brendan while he takes care of training.
Jabouin's roots are in Haiti, where his father still lives. He was seven or eight when his mother moved the rest of the family - Jabouin has a younger sister and older brother - to Montreal in search of a safer place to raise her children.
He's been back to Haiti three times, keeps in touch with his father and recalls the early days.
"Yes, I remember everything. I have a very vivid memory of my childhood. Good and bad memories," said Jabouin, who speaks English, French and Creole.
A former kickboxer, he turned to MMA and made his pro debut back in May 2001. He lost two out of his first three fights but has gone 13-2 since.
His last defeat was five fights ago, a TKO at the hands of Jonathan Brookins in a June 2007 fight that convinced him to move down to featherweight.
"He was really oversized compared to me. I kind of gassed out trying to push off the bigger guy," said Jabouin, who normally walks around at 160 pounds.
He learned lessons from his other losses. In 2004, he was knocked out by a 20-year-old Sam Stout, who was making his fourth pro appearance. Stout (14-5-1) has gone on to make a career in the UFC.
Jabouin admits he did know much about Stout and underestimated him, trying to take him out in the first round.
"Then I realized how tough this kid was and he capitalized on it."
In 2002, he lost a split decision to Steve Claveau - whom Stout knocked out four months after dispatching Jabouin. Years later, Claveau is still giving Jabouin a hard time - in training.
"I'll never get revenge because we're kind of friends now and training partners,"Jabouin said.
Based in Montreal, Jabouin also gets schooled at the Tri-Star Gym by UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
"He's coming back from a few injuries but he's still GSP," Jabouin said admiringly. "You don't get better than this guy."
The five-foot-five Assuncao is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu with eight submissions on his resume. The lone blemish on his record is a loss by decision to Jeff Curran in November 2006.
"He's a very aggressive fighter, he's got good hands, good striking power and he's in great shape," Jabouin summarized.

Organizations: AT&T Center, Tri-Star Gym

Geographic location: Montreal, Kiana, Haiti Youngstown, Ohio San Antonio, Texas

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