James “Jesse” Wallace always knows it’s just a matter of time. In his most recent fight at SFC 31, he knew it was just a matter of time before he and his most recent opponent Kaleb Harris were going to meet, and he knew he’d get the victory. Wallace did just that when he defeated Harris by way of first-round submission and following that victory which improved him to 9-2, he knew it would be just a matter of time before that next phone call came through.
While the call didn’t come as quickly as he would’ve liked, James Wallace got the call that many believe he deserved when Contender Series came calling and offered him a fight against Joseph Solecki, which will take place on July 9, 2019, exactly 4 months since his last fight.
In an interview with MyMMANews, Wallace spoke about getting the call to fight on Contender Series, his recent win over Harris, and what’s next for his career. For Wallace, that phone call for the next opportunity didn’t come as quickly as he would’ve imagined, but he’s ready to jump at the opportunity.
“It actually took a while for me to find out. I didn’t think I was going to get on Contender Series this season, I thought it would be later on this year or I’d have to take another fight. Part of that was me downplaying it, just let my manager do that work and I’ll fight whoever is put in front of me. I really didn’t know if I was going to get on or not, but there was a good chance I was going to get on [Contender Series] because of my 100% finish rate. Once I got the call, I couldn’t believe it at first and it took a minute to hit me, but it’s here and I’m trying to go out and put on a show.”
He may not have received the phone call as quickly as he would’ve expected in the past, but James Wallace knows that Contender Series isn’t the end goal, it’s just another opportunity for him to get closer to his goals of making it into, and winning in the UFC.
“It was a lot of hard work, almost 11 years of hard work, all in, just for this chance. The Contender Series isn’t my goal, I want to be in the UFC and win in the UFC. This is just another step in that direction, I don’t want to make it sound like Contender Series is the end goal, I’m grateful for the opportunity, but I want to be in the UFC and win in the UFC.”
Now that he has received the call and been given the opportunity to get a step closer to achieving his goal of making it in the UFC, Wallace isn’t worried about any of the extras that come with Contender Series, he’s just focused on his opponent inside the cage.
“What’s outside doesn’t really matter, it’s just me and him in there. Outside the cage isn’t a big deal to me. If they want to do no cameras and do me and him back there, and we just announce who won, that’s fine with me. Outside the cage doesn’t really matter to me, I’m just focused on what’s going on in there.”
As he will compete against his opponent on Contender Series, Wallace also understands that he’ll be going up against every other fight and fighter to see who impresses Dana White the most, in order to secure the UFC contract.
“Best case scenario is get the contract. I don’t really care how I finish him or what round I finish him in, but I’ll be going for the finish the whole time. I’ve been in 30 fights and I’ve never been in a boring one, and this one isn’t going to be boring either. I’ll get the finish and I’ll get the contract afterwards.”
Not worried about the bigger stage that comes with fighting on Contender Series, not worried about the extras that come along with fighting on Contender Series, and not worried about anything but getting an exciting victory and a UFC contract, James Wallace has just been waiting for the time to be right.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and is a former Associate Producer at Sirius XM’s Fight Nation.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
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