On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with 2011 NCAA Div. I wrestling champion and mixed martial arts fighter Bubba Jenkins.
Bubba was also a junior world champion in freestyle wrestling in 2007, wrestling at 66 kg/145.5 pounds.
Right after he won his NCAA title in March 2011, wrestling for Arizona State at 157 pounds, Bubba Jenkins announced that he was planning on becoming a professional mixed martial arts fighter. He made good on that promise, moving to Florida and training at the legendary American Top Team facility in Coconut Creek. He then won his first pro MMA fight, on December 2, 2011, with a first-round stoppage by strikes of Josh Williams at Tachi Palace Fights 11 in Lemoore, California. His next fight is scheduled for March 9 at Tachi Palace Fights 12, against Chris Gomez, who has a record of 2-3.
We spoke with Bubba Jenkins at length by phone Thursday night about how his transition from wrestling to mixed martial arts is progressing. He explained that while he was a bit nervous when his first fight started, and actually was briefly in trouble from a submission attempt, he quickly gained control and secured that first-round victory.
We discussed his adapting to MMA where both submissions and striking are part of the sport, and how his training at American Top Team has been critical in his development as a fighter. He knows that he has great potential in mixed martial arts, but also that, after only one fight, he must advance one step at a time.
While he still is teaching at wrestling camps, he said that his days as a competitive wrestler are over, even in this Olympic year. We also discussed his experience in winning his NCAA title.
Bubba Jenkins has all the tools to become a star one day in mixed martial arts, so make sure to pay close attention to what he had to say, and to his fighting career in its early stages.
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Labels: American Top Team, Bubba Jenkins, Eddie Goldman, MMA, No Holds Barred, Tachi Palace Fights, wrestling