Bubba “The Highlight Kid” Jenkins (9-2) is a rising star and considered by many to be the “next big thing” in Bellator’s 145 lb weight class. He’s set to face off against another rising star in Jordan Parsons at Bellator 146 on November 20th, 2015. I got the chance to talk to him ahead of his fight and found out that his personality is every bit as big as his talent.
Jenkins is a frequent guest on the MMA Roasted podcast and was on when the show had his opponent, Jordan Parsons, call in for a “press conference call”. Things got pretty testy between the two and it was fairly obvious that neither man is really a big fan of the other. When I asked him about being called out by Parsons and the confrontation on the podcast, Jenkins didn’t mince words,
“I’m gonna knock his head off! Nah, I’m just joking with you man. Obviously he wants that shot at the title so he’s gonna call out anybody who’s above him and I’m clearly above him and I will continue to stay above him. I don’t look down, I’m climbing a mountain, I only look up to see how much further I have to go. So the fact that he’s nipping at my foot just makes me want to stomp on him more.”
Jenkins followed up those strong words with another big statement.
“I’m gonna give him a reality check after I beat him up, break some of his ribs, whether I can knock him out in the 1st or 2nd round I plan to do it in the 3rd. I want to demoralize him, I want to humiliate him. And that’s not because he’s gotten under my skin, it’s because I know that I’m that much better than him. I really want to hurt him more than I want to win. I’m obviously focused on the win because it gives me a way to provide for my family and positions me better with Bellator for a shot at the title, but I really wanna punish this guy. I can be calm about it now but when I get in that cage and they lock that door, I’m gonna turn animalistic on him.”
During the podcast, Jenkins actually showed off another talent when he broke out a freestyle rap on Parsons. When I asked him if it was something that he just came up with while the podcast was going on, he said,
“I’m pretty sporadic like that, my whole life has been a track. I’m basically just trying to stay on beat and go with the rhythm and flow of what’s going on around me. At the time I thought I needed to give him some bars so I gave him some bars. I even went into a little bit of a country accent with him just to kind of let him know. I’m not like anyone you’ve ever fought, I’m not like anyone you’ve ever talked to so you might think you know what’s going on but you’re really clueless, you’re in the dark.”
He seemed really relaxed and laid back, that attitude seems to be owed a lot to a good weight cut and good camp.
“The weight has come off very easily, the weight cut has been beautiful. I’m focused and ready on this fight. I’m in Long Beach with Antonio McKee. I’m at Bodyshop, where a couple guys from Bellator are like Emanuel Newton. I’m with a really great coach who knows a lot about the sport. So I’m really excited about what we’re gonna bring to this fight because he’s got so much experience.”
During the podcast, Parsons had said that Jenkins has no ground game, despite the fact that Jenkins is an Division 1 Nation Champion wrestler. I asked Jenkins what he thought of the comment and if that would play into his game plan going into the fight at all.
“I don’t have a game plan, my plan is to get the win and beat him up. Getting the win is part of it but I wanna hurt him. I plan to drop bombs and elbows all over him. I don’t believe that he can stick up to that, he hasn’t been in a fight with a person like me and he doesn’t know what he’s in for, especially with his delusional I don’t have a ground game talk.”
Jenkins is known in the MMA world as “The Highlight Kid”, but he also has another, slightly more unusual nickname. He laughed and explained where the nickname “The Unicorn Slayer” originated.
“It came from my college days, me beating David Taylor and beating a lot of the unbeatable guys. I beat 9 different national champions. They called me the unicorn slayer because a unicorn is a magnificent creature that can’t be captured and I just kept beating these ‘unicorns’ in the sport. Whenever I get a new nickname it’s definitely something to be proud of and something I’m looking forward to.”
It’s apparent from watching his fights that Jenkins certainly has the talent to be a top fighter in the division and my short conversation with him showed me that he absolutely has the personality to be the face of a weight class and an organization in general. Be sure to tune in to Bellator 146 to see if “The Highlight Kid/The Unicorn Slayer” can earn himself another nickname.
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Exclusive: Jalin Turner vs Noah Tillis set for Bellator LA in January
Bellator LA: Douglas Lima vs Rory MacDonald, has just had another entertaining fight added as two talented prospects Jalin Turner and Noah Tillis are set to meet in a lightweight bout. Sources close to the fight confirmed the news to MMA Latest earlier this morning.
Jalin “The Tarantula” Turner makes his return to the Bellator cage for the first time since January 2017, where he defeated Gabriel Green by knockout, in an exciting fight that only lasted 36 seconds. Since the fight, Turner has gone 2-1 where he defeated Paradise Vaovasa by KO, at Tachi PF 31, before dropping his next fight to Richard LeRoy by TKO, at CFX 8. Turner bounced back from the loss by beating Vytautas Sadauskas by submission, at KOTC: Never Quit, back in September.
Noah Tillis is currently coming off of a 9-second submission victory against Jeff Carson, at Gladiator Challenge: American Pride, back in July. The “Submission Magician” has amassed a professional record of 3-2 with three victories coming by submission, DQ, and a TKO due to injury. His two losses coming by way of TKO and decision.
It is unclear where the fight will be featured, but it is assumed it will take place on the undercard. The potential brawl represents a stiff challenge for either man, as well as an opportunity to make some noise in an always deep lightweight division.
The only other fight currently announced on the card is the main event between current Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima and former UFC title challenger, Rory MacDonald. Bellator LA: Lima vs MacDonald is set to take place on Saturday, January 20th, in Los Angeles, Calfornia, at the Forum.
Anthony “PrettyBoy” Taylor wants to knockout Trey Branch then fight Brian Moore in Bellator on St. Patricks Day
Going from postlim fights in Bellator to a co-main event and then a main card fight after with such little professional experience isn’t something you’d hear of very often in the slightest. In this case Anthony “PrettyBoy” Taylor is the exception, who in only his third professional fight went to Ireland as part of the co-main event for a fight with James Gallagher. Taylor became well known to many in the build-up to that fight for being so outspoken and quite an entertainer, something he carries with him to the cage.
Anthony Taylor now has himself a fight lined up in a regional show near his home in California at California Fighting Championships. This will be his first time fighting back in America since May 2016. His last two bouts were in Europe as part of Bellator’s expansion into Europe. Following two losses he now hopes to get back in the win column in front of a home crowd. Taking this fight as a tune off fight Anthony is confident he won’t be touched by his opponent Trey Branch.
“Well, I’m taking this fight because Bellator said I’ll be fighting next year for overseas and it will be a good tune off fight for me. I think of trey like any other fighter. Just a guy who’s not going to touch me nor beat me.”
His opponent Trey Branch is jumping up from flyweight for this fight, Anthony believes he’s going to dominate his opponent and knock him out with ease. Now having 3 career losses coming via submission, he is not worried about his ground game, guaranteeing it was improved from training with some of the top fighters in Bellator.
“I believe I’m going to overpower him and KO him. He’s coming up from 125lb to fight me which I stated to the world on Bellator that I’m the strongest 45er in the world!! And as far as my ground game, it’d be covered and it’s great. Thanks to AJ McKee, Baby Slice, Joey Davis and Aaron Pico. My ground game is great and up there to the level, as there’s”
Looking ahead to next year when he competes in Bellator again, Taylor has his eyes set on a big fight in a return to Irish soil.
“Well Bellator loves me and I proved them that I belong there. I haven’t been told when I was fighting but I hope it’s back in Ireland, and maybe on St. Patricks day and hopefully I’ll fight Brian Moore because me and him been wanting to fight the longest.”
As a training partner for AJ McKee, Taylor was very pleased with how the fight went down, claiming it was a simple enough fight for his teammate that apparently didn’t train much for the fight. Suffering a loss on the initial trip to the emerald isle, “PrettyBoy” wants to come back and take home a win next time around.
“Oh man it was an easy fight for AJ, he only trained 2 weeks for that Brian Moore fight” he laughs “but absolutely it would be a great show if I was also on the show me and James alone still holds the record of views internationally and I’m looking to come back and taking what’s mines which is that W”
The win against Brian Moore could now potentially line up a fight between McKee and James Gallagher, fight fans have long sought after. Having fought against James and training with McKee on the regular Taylor isn’t convinced that Gallagher is ready for the AJ just yet. He also had some words about SBG fighters who were calling out Baby Slice.
“James is not ready for AJ. And people calling out slice since he’s new in the game. Why are sbg guys not calling out Joey Davis?? They are all talk and think that they’re better than everyone.”
With a win on Saturday, Anthony Taylor thinks it will kick him off to a series of consecutive wins that could ultimately land him in a fight with Emmanuel Sanchez.
“Yes it will start off (Saturday) and I believe it will set me up tremendously. I’m only getting better and I plan on winning fights in Bellator and then taking out Emanuel Sanchez. I do not like him, I hate him”
“I don’t like his style and he’s always hating on my teammates so I want his head” he added
Away from the fight scene, Anthony is pleased with the life that he’s got set up for himself with his newfound love since joining Bellator as he now aims to break into the movie industry too.
“Man it’s been great I now have a wonderful woman in my life so I’m happy. I’m acting too, trying to get into the movies industry and God has blessed me which so much love”
You can follow Anthony Taylor on all his social media accounts to keep an eye out for all his upcoming fight information and results.
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