The MMA Lab’s “Magic” Mike Hamel faces off with Tim Wilde at Bellator 301 in Chicago this Friday, with lightweight Hamel looking to build on a four-fight win streak.
It feels like Hamel (11-5) has really arrived during his current streak, especially with a head kick KO of former LFA champ Nick Browne this past March. Asked about the feeling that came with the highlight reel finish, Hamel told Cageside Press in a recent interview that it was about more than just winning.
“It was just, my career hadn’t gone exactly how I had planned. And so many people could probably say the same thing about theirs,” said Hamel. “I’d gotten hurt, had to fight through a couple injuries.” Among them, Hamel tore his bicep tendon, and essentially fought Killys Mota, Usman Nurmagomedov, and Bryce Logan without one.
“And so I had all those injuries, but I didn’t want to take time off until I got a couple wins under me. I needed some money, I needed some job security so I fought through those injuries. Then I was out for I think nine months when my [Max] Rohskopf fight got scheduled, and then that fell out an hour before I was getting in the van [to head to the arena]. So it was 15 months of not fighting and that’s not like me. That’s the longest I’ve gone in my life, in my athletic career without having competition.”
Hamel admitted that the long layoff took its toll. “That 15 months off was rough mentally for me. And so to get in there, get a head kick win going into the last fight of my contract, being on a three-fight win streak, I knew I was going to get an increase in pay, I knew I was going to get a new contract. It wasn’t even the fact that I won the fight, it was, I already knew the positive repercussions coming from it.”
When Mike Hamel was approached with the name Tim Wilde, he was definitely excited off the bat. He’s a big fan of the tough match-up — and plans to be the first to tire Wilde out.
“Yeah. Because Tim’s tough. And I like that,” exclaimed Hamel. “Tim’s gonna be there. He’s not going to gas out, he’s not going to over-shoot himself. He’s a pretty smart fighter. He does some things a little reckless, which I’m obviously going to capitalize on. But those English don’t know how to wrestle. I’m going to plant him on his ass over and over again. that’s what I’ve done, I’ve done it since I was four years old. I know how to head kick people, but I’m going to get him biting and my hands are going to start landing more, and he’s going to get tired. I’m going to be the first person to get Tim Wilde tired.”
Watch our full interview with Belaltor 301’s Mike Hamel above.