With strong rumours that the UFC will be returning to the UK later this year to host Michael Bisping’s first Middleweight Title defence, there has been an increased focus on the talent in the UK who are gearing up to step in on an opportunity of a lifetime and fight for the promotion.
Having cast my eyes over the list of names being thrown into the mix I cant help but question why Jimmy Wallhead isn’t being mentioned more? Is it because the rumoured fight card is taking place in Manchester? Is it because he hasn’t fought in the UK recently? Is it because he lets his fighting do the talking?
Whatever the reason may be, I genuinely believe that Jimmy Wallhead should be part of the UFC’s 170lbs roster already and irrespective of whether there will be a card in the UK later this year I fail to understand why he hasn’t been in the Octagon already.
So in typical #WHOATV fashion I have compiled five reasons why I believe Jimmy Wallhead should be part of the UFC Welterweight roster;
He finishes fights
Of the twenty eight victories he holds on his professional MMA record, only eight have gone the distance staking claim to the fact that Wallhead isn’t in there to looking for decisions. Wallhead has definitely evolved his fighting style over the years and given his background in judo, has the ability to not be scared of an opponent looking for the takedown which has really seen him grow in his stand-up game resulting in a huge number of stoppage wins. Had he not adopted the nickname of “Judo” you could certainly buy into the fact that he was a stand-up fighter first and foremost.
Solid wins over solid opponents
Jimmy Wallhead is definitely not someone who has looked to pad his record on the way to amassing his 28-9 record and his record can speak for itself as soon as you dig into it. Wins over Matt Veach, Frank Trigg, Che Mills & John Phillips are just a few of the names jumping out, you could also put a big question mark over the split decision loss to Eddy Ellis back at BAMMA 13. More recently Wallhead has taken to fighting just about wherever he can get himself a tough opponent and I feel that the Welterweight landscape in Europe is running out of credible names for him to test himself against which is another reason I feel that we need to see Jimmy gracing the UFC Octagon.
Jimmy Wallhead has been competing in mixed martial arts in some form or another since his late teens and now at the age of 32 has amassed a serious amount of competition experience. I think this factor is very important for all fighters regardless of what discipline of the sport they choose to participate in and for Wallhead he completely understands what it takes to win. If a fight is entering the last few seconds of a round he is experienced enough to know what to do to finish the round on top, he understands how to deal with tough positions in a fight, he can tell when an opponent is finding things tough and all of this isn’t stuff you can just learn in a gym.
Not only is Wallhead a great talent but he also has a cracking personality and makes it very easy for promotions to market him, which is becoming a much bigger selling point in the current MMA landscape in my opinion. He truly lives the “Talk the talk, walk the walk” mentality and put a microphone in front of him and he is a joy to watch/listen to. He also has a great background in combat sports, especially grappling which is uncommon in British fighters and certainly something which could be an angle in promoting him. Wallhead is great friends with former UFC Welterweight Title contender Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy and will definitely not be short in getting advice from those who have been inside the Octagon.
It’s been a long time coming
If you were to ask anyone who has been following the UKMMA scene who is on their “lists” of fighters they expect to see grace the UFC Octagon, I would be shocked if Jimmy Wallhead was not a name on that list. He has, for the longest time been there or there abouts for a call-up and I think that it needs to happen sooner rather than later. At the ripe old age of 32, Wallhead isn’t getting any younger and in my eyes is probably as close to peaking at his optimum potential as he ever could. I’m not sure if the Bellator stint he went through in 2010-2012 has cast an opinion on him from the UFC, but the Jimmy Wallhead of 2016 is a far superior fighter to the one that fought in Bellator and I truly believe it will be an injustice if the UFC do not at least give him the opportunity to stake a claim for himself in the biggest promotion in the world.