Wrestling has long been considered the best base for mixed martial arts (MMA).
Upcoming Professional Fighters League (PFL) Featherweight title challenger, Bubba Jenkins, knows all too well what it takes to be a great wrestler. The Arizona and Penn State University alum had a storied career throughout his college days competing in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 and Big Ten Conference matches.
Now a budding MMA star, Jenkins (19-5) has grown as a fighter since 2011, competing in Bellator before joining PFL in 2021. During this time, he’s seen his fellow great wrestlers from Russia find success in the sport, but he still believes they’re no match for those like himself repping the United States of America.
“I could give two s—ts about Dagestani wrestling because their wrestling isn’t American wrestling,” Jenkins said at a Tuesday media scrum in Las Vegas. “I don’t give a damn about Russian wrestling, I really don’t. It’s freestyle, it’s not folkstyle. If they came over here and wrestled Americans in folkstyle, we would beat the s—t out of Russian wrestlers because it’s control, it’s top. We don’t just take you down and hope to maybe turn you or something like that.
“College wrestling, collegiate style-folkstyle wrestling is the No. 1 style of wrestling in all of mixed martial arts. Period,” he added. “At me, come at me, holla at me, whatever you want to do, look at the champions and all of those guys have those form of NCAA wrestling ability to it. Obviously except for Khabib [Nurmagomedov] who’s like an outlier of that type of wrestling.”
On Nov. 25, 2022, Jenkins takes on England’s Brendan Loughnane at the 2022 PFL Championship event for PFL’s Featherweight championship and a $1 million prize.