Bellator 238: Jay Jay Wilson Recounts Hanging Out with “Idol” Adesanya

Los Angeles, CA — Featherweight prospect Jay Jay Wilson will make the walk for the fifth time at Bellator 238 in L.A. on Saturday night. Wilson (4-0), a New Zealand native, has earned stoppages in all four of his bouts so far.

He’s raring to go for number five, against Mario Navarro, he told Cageside Press at the Bellator 238 media day. “I’m super excited. I’m ready to go out there and put on a show for everyone,” he told us. There’s a little bit of national pride in that as well. “I want everyone to know that New Zealand fighters are some of the best fighters in the world.”

Of course, Israel Adesanya has been carrying the torch in that regard lately. “A hundred percent,” Wilson agreed. “I’ve been following Israel Adesanya for a long time.”

More than just following him as a fan, mind you. “When I was just 16, 17 years old, I was fighting kickboxing. He was my idol, I would hang out with him, go to his house, see how he would act, see his persona,” recalled Wilson. “Now he’s out there, he’s got the title, he’s killing it. I watched the guy fight eight times in one week. He’s always been an example for me even before he got into the MMA scene, because he was focusing just on kickboxing. That’s where he dominated, over there.”

“I’d ride his hype train. He’s bringing that crowd to New Zealand,” Wilson added. “So I’m definitely going to ride that as much as possible.”

With his early success, and three of four wins coming on the big stage in Bellator, some might find cause for concern when it comes to the 22-year old fighter staying grounded. Wilson, however, said he’s able to, for one key reason. “For me it’s having the right people around me. All the people around me keep me grounded. No matter what I’m doing, they always humble me, bring me back to where I was.”

“I come from humble beginnings as well,” he added. “It’s not like I was given things in my life. Everything I got was through hard work and dedication. So for me it’s easy to stay grounded, because I know what it was like when I was down there. And I know what it was like getting up. So for me it’s easy to stay humble.”

“I don’t want to be that cocky guy, that’s not who I am,” he finished.

Jay Jay Wilson faces Mario Navarro on the preliminary portion of Bellator 238, this Saturday, January 25, 2020 at The Forum in Inglewood (Los Angeles), California.