We caught up with Alex Gilpin following his PFL 5 submission victory in Atlantic City, which has landed him in the league’s playoffs this fall.
Featherweight Alex Gilpin (13-2) completed a phenomenal first round submission at PFL 5 2019 in Atlantic City, NJ late last month. That win put Gilpin firmly in the league’s post-season, with six points earned for the first round submission against Freddy Assunção.
In his first season with the organization, Gilpin is thrilled with the treatment he’s received so far. “I can’t say enough about the organization. As professional as it, from the behind the scenes stuff, to financially, they take care of us.”
And the merit-based approach appeals as well. “You win and advance, it’s not a political situation like you’ve got with other organizations. Quite honestly a guy like me, what more can I ask for?”
Next up for Gilpin is Andre Harrison, October 17 in Las Vegas. That’s the first fight of a possible two in a night, prior to the finals in December, which will once again take place in New York City.
Harrison has been a mainstay in the PFL, and prior to that, the World Series of Fighting. It’s a tough match-up for the first fight of the night. It’s also new ground for the league, moving into Las Vegas for the first time. Last year’s playoffs went down in Long Beach, California.
Gilpin, for his part, joined the PFL after a strong showing on the Contender Series. But despite a second round D’Arce choke submission win, he didn’t get the coveted UFC deal.
It bothered him, Gilpin admitted, but not for long. “About five or two minutes, I was feeling a little salty. But at the end of the day, it’s not my organization, it’s Dana White’s. It’s the matchmakers there. I wasn’t going to sit there and cry about it, I wasn’t entitled to a contract or anything like that,” he said about his time on the show. “My job was showing up and winning, and I got the job done.”
Gilpin also suffered a calf tear and an MCL tear early in the Contender Series fight, and “fought through it against a tough, athletic warrior.” That complicated his situation, as while other finishers were picked up by the UFC as short notice replacements even when they didn’t earn UFC deals, Gilpin wasn’t ready to go.
Then the PFL opportunity came up. Which has worked out so far.
One notable issue the league has encountered of late, however, is fighters missing weight. Even with a million dollars on the line for the winner of each weight class at the end of the system.
Gilpin sees it as a simple situation, really. “You just got to show up and make weight. Then this whole thing isn’t a problem. Don’t be getting fifty and sixty pounds ahead of your weight class in between fights,” he suggested. “All the research is out there to do your cut right. I understand a couple of pounds. You know, sh*t happens. But for the most part you just have to show up and make weight.”
If you can’t, “just go up in weight, you know? How big of an advantage of it is to deplete yourself 50lbs from your walking around weight, and trying to get an edge. I don’t understand. People were trying to get me to go 35 in my early career. It’s like, first of all, how’s my training camp going to be? And second of all, this isn’t The Biggest Loser, it’s a fist fight at the end of the day.”
“I cut a little bit of weight, it’s not like I’m a small featherweight by any means,” Gilpin added, “but I don’t get terribly heavy.”
Check out our full interview with Alex Gilpin above!