UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Jay Jay Wilson won in the cage at Bellator 242 despite missing weight the previous morning.
The New Zealand-born featherweight up-and-comer notched arguably the biggest victory of his career when he defeated Tywan Claxton on Friday’s main card at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Even though he notched the split-decision win, Wilson (6-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) didn’t praise his performance for long before he addressed his pre-fight issue on the scale.
“Originally, I missed weight,” Wilson told MMA Junkie at the post-fight news conference. “I tried my best to make the weight. I apologize for missing weight. It was very unprofessional. (During) the weigh-ins, he tried to get in my face and tried to get in my head about me missing weight. I just flipped it on him. We had some back-and-forth banter. Then when I got in the cage, after the fight, I just apologized to him for being unprofessional about it.”
Wilson, 22, has never missed weight before as a professional. He apologized numerous times for the blunder and attributed it to his time away from fighting. Additionally, he voiced no concerns about fighting at featherweight going forward.
“I 100 percent feel comfortable at this weight,” Wilson said. “The problem was that I was competing in jiu-jitsu. I didn’t know when fighting was coming back. I was competing at 185 in jiu-jitsu and weighing in at 165-168. I was just eating as much as I (could) because that was the only (thing) I could do – jiu-jitsu. That was the reason I came in a little heavy. Now that fights are back, I’m back in camp, and eating healthy, my weight will be down, ready for 145.”
The fight was closely contested for three straight rounds. While Claxton was in control for much of the fight, Wilson was offensive from a usually defensive position. The scorecards were all over the board, read 27-30, 29-28, 30-27 in favor of Wilson.
“At first, I wasn’t sure how the judges were looking at it,” Wilson said. “If they were looking at who was more active, I knew I was going to take it because I was looking (at it like), every single time he walked back, I swung. I wanted to fight. He’d just get me against the cage. I couldn’t manage to slip him off. I was looking for options the whole time. I was just thinking, ‘How did the judges look at the scoreboard.’”
Bellator 242 took place Friday at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn. The main card simulcasted on Paramount Network and DAZN after prelims on MMA Junkie.