For those who like their fights a little spicy, the build-up to Chris Wade vs. Bubba Jenkins at PFL Playoffs 3 must have been tantalizing.
Ahead of the pair’s featherweight semifinal, Wade had suggested the public was buying into Jenkins’ “persona” when the latter turned out to be the betting favorite. Jenkins, in response, said that Wade needed to get his name out of his mouth, before he snatched it out.
Things appeared to be heated right up to fight night. Adding some extra anticipation for an already exciting match-up. And right off the opening buzzer, that heat seemed to be in full effect.
Both men were strong out of the gate, though it was Jenkins quickly moving into takedown mode, planting Wade on his backside, sitting against the fence. When Wade made it back up, he did so with Jenkins still leaning on him heavily.
Some wildly entertaining scrambles and unorthodox positions followed. At one point, Jenkins was almost literally standing on his head. That transitioned into a north-south position, but Jenkins slipped out of that. Wade then used a cradle to reverse and get into a dominant position, though there were mere seconds left in the round.
What started out heated had turned into a top-flight wrestling match by round’s end. Round two saw that trend continue, with Chris Wade threatening with an Anaconda choke early. He’d end up working on the choke for quite some time, with Jenkins nearly escaping as Wade adjusted — only for Wade to briefly lock on another choke! Jenkins broke free, but Wade was able to take the back, with just a minute remaining. From there Wade threatened with a rear-naked choke, and finished on top — a very dominant five minutes.
Bubba Jenkins punched his way in with a right hand early in the third, but after taking the back, he was too high to control Wade. Wade slipped out the back door, moving to side control. With nearly four minutes to work, Wade briefly flirted with a north-south choke. Jenkins worked up to his feet, then threatened briefly with a guillotine. Wade gave up his back, but once again, Jenkins was too high. Wade slipped out the back, seemingly easier this time with both fighters slick with sweat.
Wade finished the round working a choke, then pointing to the sky and celebrating with one hand before time had even run out. Fired up after three grueling rounds, Wade had a few choice words for a disappointed Jenkins.
There was no question when it came to the winner in Wade vs. Jenkins. Chris Wade now moves to the featherweight finals, where he’ll meet the victor of Movlid Khaybulaev vs. Brendan Loughnane. After coming up short twice in the semifinals at lightweight, it’s Wade’s first trip to the finals.
Official Result: Chris Wade def. Bubba Jenkins by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)