Chris Wade once again finds himself in a PFL post-season, but this year, it’s down a weight class at featherweight. And without the two fights in one night PFL fans are familiar with from seasons past in 2018 and 2019.
In one of two featherweight semifinals this year, Wade meets Bubba Jenkins, a former Bellator MMA and Brave CF standout. Wade (19-6) is himself a former UFC talent, and with previous experience in the PFL post-season, he’s certainly in his element as he enters Friday’s showdown in the last event prior to the finals in October.
In terms of how that previous post-season experience has helped him this time around, Wade told Cageside Press during Tuesday’s PFL Playoffs 3 media day that “I believe that they’ve helped prepare me in that, I have fought twice in one night in the playoffs in the last two seasons, and I’ve competed and won in dominant fashion in my first two fights of [those evenings]. And it’s only my second fights where I’ve had stumbles. So I know what it’s like to have to push way beyond what I believe Friday night will call for.”
With the coronavirus shaving off that second bout, Wade added that he believes a single fight “is going to really, really play to my advantage.”
Not surprisingly, a part of Wade hoped to get another shot at two fights in a night. “I wanted to right that wrong so to speak, and I wanted to get over that hump and win a second fight in a night,” Wade told us. “But I think that you guys know the two guys I lost to in the second fight of the night in Loik [Radzhabov] and [Natan] Schulte are both high-level fighters, so hat’s off to them in those two previous seasons. But if I had my choice in doing what’s best for Chris Wade to get to the title fight and win the title, it’s one fight a night. So I’m going to take that instead of letting my ego have a win in the two fight in a night situation.”
Wade has another high-level opponent in Bubba Jenkins, who defeated two-time PFL champ Lance Palmer during the regular season. Wade, however, doesn’t believe this year’s Palmer was the same fighter who showed up in those previous seasons.
“Yeah, he took out the champ, but I’m pretty friendly with Lance, and I think everybody kind of knows from talking with Lance that Lance wasn’t as mentally into it this year as he was in the past,” opined Wade.
“That’s just a stylistic match-up thing. Lance and Bubba both really really want to wrestle the entire fight,” he added. “That was a butting of heads stylistically. This for me is, I’m going in there to really try to put punishment on Bubba and hurt him, and finish him in the fight. I think it’s two totally different things, two different worlds.”
Watch the full PFL Playoffs 3 media day press scrum with Lance Palmer above. The event takes place Friday, August 27 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.