Las Vegas, NV — With the exception, perhaps, of “Coconut Bombz,” there may not be a better nickname in the UFC than the “Beverly Hills Ninja.” That would be Jordan Wright, who joined the promotion at UFC Vegas 7 over the weekend, after flirting with a Contender Series fight for months.
“I was training for the Contender Series, and that training just kind of got extended over and over and over,” he noted, speaking backstage after a stoppage victory against Ike Villanueva.
The coronavirus pandemic, of course, pushed the Contender Series back this year. Then, Wright learned that he would likely make his UFC debut before the Contender Series fight even happened. The idea then was to stay ready. “And that’s what we did.”
Wright’s bout with Villanueva ended due to a cut over his opponent’s eye, opened up by a knee in the first (and only) round. It was an impressive move from Wright, who is eyeing the middleweight division despite the bout Saturday going down at light heavyweight.
“I have a gymnastics background, so I’m pretty good at getting limbs in places that a lot of people think they shouldn’t be. It wasn’t too crazy for me,” he said of the knee.
Still, it seems his nickname is well earned. Chris Farley was by no means a small human being. Wright gave some more insight into his movement, and how gymnastics has helped it.
“Gymnastics was my first ever sport. I started when I was maybe four. Then I got out of it, and when I was around nine I started with Karate,” he explained. “As I got older, I got back into gymnastics, but with more of a focus on tumbling. But even just doing all the tumbling stuff, I still kept up with the floor work, a lot of the stuff you’ll see with Ido Portal and Conor McGregor that they were doing for a little while, that was a big part of my repertoire.”
“I guess I move just different from everybody. I have the gymnastics background to thank for that,” he continued. “Especially with the karate and gymnastics, I have a lot of power in my legs. I end a lot of my fights with my legs.”
That was the case UFC Vegas 7, with Wright improving to 11-0. The fight coming together no doubt seemed like a whirlwind, as Villanueva was originally booked against Jorge Gonzalez. Wright stepped up as a replacement.
“I’m just happy that the UFC thought to call me and reach out to me,” said Wright, calling the opportunity “an honor.”
Now, the plan is to spend a bit of time with his family before getting back to work, he said. “I want to chill out, get back to the gym as soon as I can, keep training, and getting better.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 7 post-fight press scrum with Jordan Wright above.