Prospect in the Spotlight (Aug 20-21): Jay Jay Wilson

Introduction

Friday, August 20th, New Zealand featherweight prospect Jay Jay Wilson will be in action for Bellator, where he will be looking to continue his winning ways against veteran Adam Borics. He will be looking for another win, as Wilson looks to score another win en route to an eventual Bellator title shot. He represents Olivier MMA, a smaller camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Jiu Jitsu: Wilson’s strongest attribute is his submission grappling game, which you will often see him utilize in the cage. In addition to having professional grappling experience, Wilson has effectively used his mat skills in the cage. He is a technical grappler with good positional ability and a knack for finding the neck. Half of his pro wins come by tapout, including three rear-naked chokes and an armbar. He also has got combatives on the mat. His ground-and-pound has been a effective tool as well, leading to two stoppages. Overall, Wilson is not a guy you want to be under on the canvas.

Power Striking: In addition to his effective, violent ground-and-pound, Wilson has powerful striking when he is on the feet. He has some solid technical ability on the feet, but it’s his power which is more fear-inducing at this point. He can do damage quickly and he’s aggressive in doing so. This is especially seen in his recent bout against Sergio DeBari. Wilson closed the distance immediately and looked for the killshot. He got that 20 seconds in, uncorking a massive overhand that broke through his opponent and ended his night. Wilson isn’t going to be confused with Thiago Alves in terms of technique, but that’s okay; he can strike.

Needs Improvement

Wrestling Question Marks: Wilson has yet to really face a wrestler that will challenge him in the cage outside of Tywan Claxton, who took Wilson to a split decision. Until we see more, Wilson’s wrestling will come into question, especially considering there are a large number of top wrestlers at 145. His jiu-jitsu will be a good defense, but until we see a consistent contesting of an opponent’s wrestling by Wilson, we will have those questions going forward.

Outlook

Bellator Title Contender: Jay Jay Wilson has been one of the delightful surprise prospects that Bellator has stumbled upon in recent years. Wilson has vastly exceeded expectations at this point in his career, already becoming a potential contender just 8 fights into his pro career. Here’s the thing: Wilson was certainly a guy coming into Bellator that looked like a solid prospect. That said, I don’t think many could have predicted this short into his promotional tenure, he’d own wins over Tywan Claxton and Pedro Carvalho. That’s impressive. Bellator has a competitive featherweight division, and Wilson has already proven he can compete with the talent this company has to offer. He seems like in a year or two, he could be a guy that pops up in a Bellator title bout. Either way, when his Bellator career is all said and done, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him in a title challenge.

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