KSW 44: Once Inspired By Ronnie Coleman, Bodybuilder and Fitness Model Erko Jun Takes on MMA

“I want to test myself. I like the challenge.”

This is what bodybuilder and fitness model Erko Jun had to say ahead of his professional MMA debut this Saturday night at KSW 44 in Gdansk, Poland.

Jun is a part of this new wave of celebrities in the fitness industry. Thanks to social media, and a lot of time investing in himself, Erko Jun has created a small empire that includes a clothing line, fitness programs, personal training, and modelling.

The story of Jun is a very fascinating one. His parents fled war torn Bosnia and Herzegovina and moved to Belgium. In his youth he gained a love for combat sports but in his teens he suffered a devastating leg injury that left him paralyzed in his right leg. Life works in mysterious ways as it was through intense rehab and eventually getting his leg right again that he fell in love with the fitness and bodybuilding.

“It was through rehab that I fell in love with iron,” said Jun. “I was 16-years-old, a good age, you like it, I was looking more buff and noticed the gains. It was then I focused on bodybuilding. From then on I competed in bodybuilding and won a number junior titles in Europe and

As we saw in Generation Iron 2, the modern day of fitness and bodybuilding has been dominated by social media. Jun spotted this trend early and started building his brand around ten years ago with just a Facebook page, motivation and ambition.

“Everyone has social media now. But back then, I’m talking 10 years ago, I started with a Facebook page and doing all kind of things to promote myself. Anywhere I could get my face into I was doing that. I did personal training for free in the beginning. I invested time in myself and spent money on marketing myself and I started to get more popular. I won third place in the model universe at MonsterMania, after this I got more offers from photographers and sponsors and from then on I didn’t compete anymore. I started to focus on business, on my social media, and each year it has grown bigger and bigger.”

Jun’s inspirations in the fitness and bodybuilding world have changed over the years since he first began and, in a way, it kind of mirrors how the industry has changed and who the stars are today.

“In the beginning I loved Ronnie Coleman, he was a legend for me, and Markus Ruhl and then Jay Cutler, you know, these big guys but that has changed since. In the beginning I wanted to be the biggest I could be, I was aiming for that. Then in time my mindset has changed and focused more on myself and my body. Right now one of the only people I look up to now is The Rock. He is a big role model for everyone, including the bodybuilding industry. Look at what he has achieved across his whole career. But I respect everyone in the bodybuilding industry though.”

Now embarking on a new chapter of his career, the 27-year-old is returning to his routes of combat sports and makes his professional MMA debut this weekend against Polish movie star Tomasz Oswiecinski in one of the main fights of KSW 44. The change in training has been difficult for Jun but has dedicated himself to improving his cardio and making the adjustments needed to be able to compete in a fight.

“The training has been tough. My body for those first two or three weeks was just sore, you are using muscles you never used in bodybuilding, but I learned to accept the pain. If you really want something you will go over the limit,” stated Jun. “Although I come from the fitness world I wasn’t big into cardio, I would rather diet hard than do my cardio in order to get the look I wanted and I lifted heavy. But that has changed. I haven’t lifted for the past three months. I have worked a lot on my conditioning and I feel amazing now. Despite not lifting I still have the strength. I am coming into this fight knowing that I did everything I could in training, I gave this camp everything I had.”

When asked about the fight and if he had a prediction Jun simply said:

“I am not losing that’s for sure. This Saturday I am giving everything and it won’t go past one round!”

Generation Iron fans you can watch this fight and the whole KSW 44 fight card this Saturday June 9 via online PPV at www.KSWTV.com and it kicks off at 1pm EST.

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