Former Bellator MMA and Brave CF standout Bubba Jenkins is set to make his debut with the PFL this Friday night. And he’s been paired up with an old rival from his collegiate wrestling days: two-time featherweight champ Lance Palmer.
Scratch that. There’s no rivalry, according to Jenkins.
“It’s a competitive thing for sure. Rivalries is when you go back-and-forth, and he hasn’t gone back-and-forth with me,” Jenkins told media outlets including Cageside Press during this week’s PFL 1 media day. “He’s came short multiple times over. A rivalry is back-and-forth: you, me, you, me. It’s just been me, me, me. And again, it’s going to be me.”
According to Jenkins, he was excited, but not exactly glad, when he learned that he’d drawn Palmer right out of the gate in this year’s regular season. “I figured beating a man like Palmer would given me a million dollars, since he’s been the two-time million dollar champion,” said Jenkins. “So to fight him in the first round, which is nowhere near a million dollars, is a massive pay cut for having to do the same amount of work. But, I do feel like it’s a favorable match-up, I do feel like on paper, and in reality, it looks good for me and my camp.”
The history between Jenkins and Palmer dates right back to their pre-teen years, revealed Jenkins.
“Me and Palmer go way back, as far as 12, 13 years old, wrestling in the same tournaments, big national tournaments when we were in middle school, high school, things like that,” he recalled. Things really heated up, however, when the pair were in their college days. Jenkins has famously stated that at the time, he beat Palmer for a Big Mac and an orange soda.
“I wrestled him multiple times in college, but if you know anything about the NCAA, they don’t like to pay their athletes. So all I could afford was a Big Mac and an orange soda, and that’s all I was looking forward to after any match,” said Jenkins. “One time I had Palmer on the menu, and I beat him, ate him up a lot, and I was quickly at the next McDonalds order that Big Mac and an orange soda.”
It won’t be another Big Mac if Jenkins wins the PFL’s featherweight tournament this season, however. Instead, the plan is to “buy a headquarters. A crib. A house.”
Watch the full PFL 1 2021 media day interview with Bubba Jenkins above.