Long Beach, CA — New Zealand’s Jay-Jay Wilson did not make the cut as part of Bellator’s featherweight grand prix. Now a lightweight, however, “The Maori Kid” intends to right that wrong and get into the upcoming 155lb tournament.
“After I go out there and finish this guy, I guarantee my spot in that lightweight grand prix,” Wilson (8-1) told Cageside Press ahead of his fight with Vladimir Tokov at Bellator 286.
The transition to lightweight, where Wilson fights for the second time this weekend, has been a smooth one, he said.
“The weight cuts been super easy, I’m only three pounds over right now. I’m not that worried about the weight, I made the transition really well into the 155lb [division]. I don’t feel these guys are much stronger; I’ve always trained with people that are a lot bigger than me.”
“I feel strong at this weight, I feel good,” he added. “My training has been amazing, this is one of the best camps I’ve had. So I want to go out there and kill this guy.”
Wilson has arrived at lightweight at an exciting time, what with the grand prix, and arrival of names like A.J. McKee and Usman Nurmagomedov, the latter of whom challenges for the title next.
“A.J. McKee’s a big name. He fought in 145, he won the grand prix, he was a champion. Him transitioning to 155, he’s a big name, he’s strong, he’s good,” Wilson observed. “Same as Patricky [Pitbull], he’s already the champ. But there’s so many good names already in there, like Benson Henderson. There’s so many guys you can’t overlook in the 155 division. I think it’s definitely a super-stacked division, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Jay-Jay Wilson faces Vladimir Tokov at Bellator 286 this Saturday, October 1, 2022 in Long Beach, CA.