Brad “The Crazy Kid” Wheeler (14-9 MMA 1-0 WFS) is looking to extend his current five fight winning streak when he competes for the WFS Lightweight Title on 1st August against current Champion, Jefferson George (5-5 MMA 1-0 WFS).
Whilst Wheeler is certainly not overlooking his opponent, he is confident that he will be taking the belt home with him when the two clash.
“I think that he is better than people give him credit for. He hasn’t fought mugs, he has fought some good opponents at BAMMA. But he hasn’t fought anyone like me, with the experience that I have.”
Some may see Wheeler putting his current five fight win streak on the line against an opponent who has lost his last two fights as a risk, Wheeler sees the chance of winning WFS gold outweighing that risk.
“Well, other than winning the Title, it’s not really a great gain for me as I am ranked above him. I am just looking to get the Title on my CV, and with the show being on TV (London Live), now is a good opportunity to showcase my skills against a good opponent. There will be pressure on me to beat him but I don’t see me losing.”
Wheeler made a storm in his WFS debut in June, picking up a TKO win over Kes Memba which earned him the shot at George at WFS 4. The win over Mamba was the third TKO win in Wheeler’s career and, whilst looking at his record people may assume that he is a grappler first and foremost, Wheeler is keen to showcase that he is far from just a submission fighter when he takes on George.
“I see myself stopping him either on the feet or on the ground. Just look at my record, I have thirteen stoppages in my fourteen wins. My style is not built to win by decision. I am a better striker and grappler than Jefferson, I’m a bigger Lightweight and more experienced fighter than him.”
“I don’t always look for submission wins, I just take what I can get. In the fight with Jason Cooledge I could of TKO’d him, all I had to do was throw a few more shots but he showed me his back and I took it. I think I am known for my ground game but I have always had good striking. Ask anyone who trains with me and they will tell you that.”
Another attraction for Wheeler fighting on WFS was the location of its shows and the relationship he has with the promotions owner Harry Shoebridge, a relationship which has stemmed from early on in his career.
“Well for one, it’s local as it’s in London. I’m a pretty good ticket seller and while it annoys me selling tickets, I won’t have a problem selling them in London. There will be about 100 Wheeler fans turning up and spurring me on. It makes me think that I am definitely not going to lose in front of my fans.”
“The second reason was that I have known Harry (Shoebridge, WFS owner) for years and I trust him with match making and the ability to put on show. I had been to a previous show and was impressed with it.”
With the opportunity of fighting for the Lightweight Title ahead of him, one thing Wheeler will have to ensure – that he’s on point when it comes to weigh-ins. In his last few fights he has been on weight at the 155lbs level but there were some occasions in the past which have haunted him, something which he is keen to avoid in the future.
“I am being much more sensible with foods and not eating carbs. It really is just a discipline thing. I was trying to squeeze too much into the final three days of cutting weight.”
“For my last fight I went back to starting the cut on the Wednesday before the fight and then that made Thursday and Friday easier. I am about a kilo lighter than usual for this fight and feel superb.”
While Wheeler may become the WFS Lightweight Champion in his next bout, his future is still very much unclear, especially with the announcement that Cage Warriors will be returning to the European scene before the end of the year.
As a fighter managed by Intensiti Fighter Management, Wheeler is more focused on the goal ahead and is happy for his next fight to take place at whatever promotion his management and coaches advise.
“I signed a five fight contract before Cage Warriors went away, so technically I am still under contract with them. There are a lot of fighters in the same boat as me. So if they want me back then that’s fine by me.”
“I really don’t care who I fight next or where it is though. I am taking things one fight at a time and not focusing too much on anything else. I believe I am the best UK Lightweight outside of the UFC. If Cage Warriors do return there is a vacant belt which I believe I have a very good opportunity to fight for.”
Only a few weeks away from the WFS Lightweight Title fight, Wheeler is very excited to stake a claim at being one of the best in the UK at 155lbs. Whilst the two competitors have a mutual respect for each other’s skills, Wheeler is quietly confident that after this fight his current win streak will sit at six.
“I don’t really have anything to say to Jefferson, but he might as well give me that belt now!”
Brad would like to thank “all my training partners and coaches. My Mindsport coach Rob Dawson, Jefferson George for taking the fight and Harry for having me on the show.”