Chris Wade found himself in a grudge match in the co-main event of the PFL Playoffs 3 card. Yet the trash talk with opponent Bubba Jenkins didn’t appear to phase him, at least not in the build up to the fight.
After picking up a dominant unanimous decision victory on Friday, which secured him a spot in the featherweight final this October, there was a definite outpouring of emotion, however. That’s something Wade, who in two previous seasons came up short in lightweight semifinals, admitted following the event.
“Yeah. [Bubba Jenkins] is one of the more flamboyant fighters that we’ve seen in the PFL, and he kind of turned a lot of the interviews that I had throughout the lead-up to the fight into a personal thing,” Wade (20-6) said during the post-fight press conference capping off the event. “I was just genuinely being confident in myself and trying to answer the questions as best I could.”
Wade went on to say that when Jenkins stated during a pre-fight press conference “that he was going to knock my head off, and come across the cage and punch me right in the mouth,” he made a promise to his daughter that he’d come home a winner. “When I left for this fight, I sat in the car with her, we got teared up, and I promised her I would win this fight. There was no stopping me.”
Showing off some superb wrestling chops, Wade now moves on to the finals against Dagestan’s Movlid Khaybulaev. It’s another tough wrestler as his final opponent this year, and Wade is expecting a considerable challenge.
“I have a ton of respect for Movlid and the entire Dagestani fighting team and just everyone that comes out of there,” said Wade. “If you’ve heard me give interviews before, they are some of the toughest people that walk the face of the earth. So I know that it’s going to take everything that I have, but I’m prepared to give everything that I have.”
The PFL 2021 Final takes place on October 27, 2021, with six championship fights, and one million dollars in prize money for each winner.