Bubba Jenkins has won at every level on the national and world wrestling scene.
Now, Jenkins is preparing to achieve greatness as an MMA fighter, taking his talents to American Top Team and looking to build a bright future.
Recently, Jenkins sat down with Sherdog.com for an interview, where he discussed his wrestling past, what he can bring to MMA and his goals for the future.
After having a feud with new Penn State University wrestling coach Cael Sanderson, Jenkins left the school and signed with Arizona State. He went on to capture an NCAA national title to go alongside his junior world championship.
Now, Jenkins, who was quite the showman in a sport dominated by quiet assassins, is bringing his talents to the cage.
“I am going to be exciting, doing flips and cart-wheels once I know what I am doing,” Jenkins said. “I can pull off some amazing things with my athleticism and I am excited about (fighting).”
As a youth, Jenkins had plenty of trouble outside of wrestling, getting into fights and being suspended from his prep wrestling team. All of those aggressive tendencies, though, will be useful once he has his first MMA fight.
“I want to become a trained fighter and do some lethal things,” said Jenkins, who sees himself fighting at 145 pounds and taking four-to-five fights a year. “I would be happy with that. If you do the statistics, the best guys (in MMA) have a wrestler-base, especially certain guys. They are just wrestling their way to championships.
“I feel like I am in my prime as an athlete, and I am feeling in good shape. I’ve been sparring and wrestling around and want to go. I want to compete. I want to make money and MMA is a perfect transition to do that.”
Jenkins is working with some of the top names in the sport with American Top Team. After being a heavily-sought-after recruit following high school, Jenkins went through much of the same things when it came time to select an MMA camp.
“The hospitality (at ATT) has been great. They told me they could build me into the best fighter and I felt like the guys (at ATT) would help bring me a championship,” Jenkins said. “It is family-oriented place and I like the atmosphere.”
One certain fighter Jenkins can try to replicate is the UFC’s Phil Davis, a former member of the Penn State wrestling team, as well. Davis was to be in the main event of UFC 133, but had to pull out of a scheduled fight with Rashad Evans after suffering an injury.
Jenkins has taken note of the quick career climb Davis has had in the UFC.
“People are going to get hurt (when I start fighting),” Jenkins said. “I want to follow in the footsteps of guys like Phil Davis.”