Due to the recent explosion of MMA and the opportunities fighters can secure in the sport now, even more ridiculously talented wrestlers have been transitioning into fighting. Case in point, is Bubba “The Highlight Kid” Jenkins, who the won the NCAA Division I Championship at 157 lbs in 2011 for Arizona State University. After Jenkins went 3-0 to begin his MMA career, Bellator liked what they say and inked the American Top Team fighter to a contract.
In July, Jenkins made his promotional debut at Bellator 97 and stopped Mike Barreras in the opening round. Recently the 25 year-old lightweight spoke with RM Sports’ MMA Linker.com about his fighter career, Bellator, as well as how effective his wrestling skills will be against top tier fighters. Here is some of what the undefeated prospect had to say.
“Well, I don’t know man that’s just one of those things we’ll have to wait and see. Wrestling and MMA Wrestling are completely different. If you named all the wrestlers in the game – they’re all pretty tough,” Jenkins noted when asked if he believes any fighters will be able to counter his wrestling. “We’ll see how it goes with the future fighters. I’m pretty excited just to be apart of the competition and part of the Bellator movement. I’m a competitor, I like to compete. One reason I didn’t stop what I was doing as an athlete and go into something different is because I love to compete. I love competition. This is the toughest tournament in sports, so I’m gonna go do it and find out what’s up with it.”
“Well right now we’re just focused on the fights they have set up for us,” Jenkins said when asked if he hopes to secure a spot in an upcoming lightweight tournament. “Eventually we’ll get into the tournament but we don’t really have a disclosed number. We’re just going one fight at a time, get through these next couple, get them out of the way. Really I’m just focused on number five, after number five focus on number six, so right now it’s LaRue Burley.”
Jenkins is set to fight Burley at Bellator 100, which goes down September 20th at the Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix. It’s going to be interesting to see whether Jenkins develops into an elite fighter like so many other decorated wrestlers now have.
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