Seven fights into his pro MMA career, Mike Wilkins (5-2) is hoping that his next stop is fighting for the UFC in Pittsburgh.
The Feb. 21 fight card appears to be full at this point, but there’s always the possibility of injuries and the necessity of late replacements.
“All my family, friends, and fans are doing a great job being very vocal about wanting the UFC to have me on that card!,” Wilkins said. “At the moment I haven’t gotten any word, but we are going to keep knocking on that door until they open it, or we break it down.”
All hope is not lost for Pittsburgh area fighters who are looking to compete on the card, and case in point is the UFC card in Boston this past weekend that suffered many late changes, and a few local fighters were brought in to fill the spots.
Wilkins was involved in the 2015 BluegrassMMA Pro Fight of the Year, but unfortunately he came up short via split decision in the bout with Rob Hanna at Gladiators of the Cage 18 last August.
“I’m pretty proud to have been involved in the fight of the year,” Wilkins said. “I like my fights to be exciting and diverse. I’d like to think that a casual fan would enjoy watching my fights because of my high pace and willingness to go for big moves, and a hardcore fan would enjoy how technical I am especially in transitional positions.”
Wilkins represents the Renzo Gracie Academy and Stout Training Center and is one of the most popular fighters in the Steel City.
The fight with Hanna was back and forth and it appeared as though Wilkins had a rear naked choke locked in deep in both the first and third rounds. But Hanna gritted his teeth and made it through both chokes, eventually getting his hand raised and being awarded the GOTC lightweight title.
“It was a very close fight, and I don’t think anyone would be shocked if my hand was raised that night,” Wilkins said. “I do think Rob fought a great fight and came in prepared for what I brought to the table. Even though it’s a loss on my record, it was a great fight for my development. I learned a lot in that fight about who I was as a fighter.”
Still just 29 years old, Wilkins is in the prime of his career and appears to get better with each performance. He’s also ranked No. 4 in the BluegrassMMA Pro Lightweight Rankings and continues to climb.
“If I don’t get the opportunity to compete on UFC Pittsburgh, I’ll being looking to fight very shortly after,” Wilkins said. “I’m excited to get back in the cage.”