Bellator 238 winner Jay Jay Wilson aims for busy 2020 after claiming fifth straight finish

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. – If he has his way, we might be seeing a fair bit more from “The Maori Kid” Jay Jay Wilson in 2020.

Wilson (5-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) extended his perfect professional record – and his 100 percent finish rate – with a second-round armbar finish of Mario Navarro (4-5 MMA, 1-3 BMMA) at Bellator 238, then said he hopes to be very active for the promotion throughout the year.

All four of Wilson’s previous victories came via first-round finish, but Navarro’s toughness ensured he took the Kiwi into the second round for the first time in his professional career. Speaking to reporters, including MMA Junkie, backstage after the fight, Wilson said he was both impressed by his opponent’s toughness and grateful for the opportunity to push himself beyond the first round.

“It was super fun in the first round,” Wilson recalled. “I thought I was going to get the finish. I was swinging, and the referee was telling him to fight back, so I just went harder, kept going, kept going, kept going, and he was a tough guy. He managed to tough it out through the strikes, so I was actually really impressed. It was good for me to go another round, get some more time in the cage.”

Sometimes for a young fighter whose early wins have come early, going deeper into a fight can expose cardio weaknesses or issues with pacing. But there were no such problems for Wilson, who kept his foot on the gas through the first half of the second round to claim the submission win against the toughest opponent of his career.

“The thing is, at the gym we train (for) hours on end, and in there it’s only 15 minutes,” Wilson said. “So I can go all out from the beginning to the end.

“He was tough. I hit him with some hard shots, some big elbows, and he toughed it out. I made him scream a few times with the strikes, so I thought he was going to give up. But he had heart, he kept going. So I give a lot of props to him.”

Wilson fought three times in 2019 in a busy year for the 22-year-old, but he said he would love to improve on that number this year and be even more active as he looks to build his fighting resume in Bellator’s stacked featherweight division.

“I want to take as many fights as they can give me,” Wilson said. “When I say I want to take a vacation, I’ll still be training. I’ll be going to live at my home for one month, (and) I’ll still be training a lot there, so I’ll be ready to fight again as soon as possible. I would love to fight four more times, five more times this year if possible.”