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Submission ace Jay Jay Wilson expects Tywan Claxton to wrestle at Bellator 242

Jay-Jay Wilson predicts winning Bellator gold by the end of 2021

Ranking seventh in the Bellator featherweight division is not good enough for the Jay-Jay Wilson.

The unbeaten 145-pounder is getting a chance to prove his worth against No. 4 Pedro Carvalho at Bellator 257 on April 16. Following  the release of the promotion’s first-ever rankings on March 29, Wilson expects to win the Bellator strap by year’s end. 

“At the end of this year I’m going to have that belt around my waist.” Wilson said. 

“With the ranking system, you know where you sit. I know where I am from the title and I know who I have to beat to get a shot at the title.”


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Jay-Jay Wilson is more than a grappler

Wilson is perfect up to this point, including six of his seven victories coming by finish. A seasoned grappler with four submission wins, “The Maori Kid” showed he is dangerous on his feet during his most recent appearance. 

He knocked out Sergio DeBari with a right hand in 20-seconds at Bellator 253 this past November. He previously earned his first decision victory of his career against former featherweight grand-prix fighter Tywan Claxton at Bellator 242 last July. 

Even with all of his other finishes, his win over DeBari sent a clear message to the division according to Wilson.

“I was looking to make a statement that I’m not just a grappler, I have hands too,” Wilson said. “What’s the best way to do that, go out there and put someone away in a dominant fashion.”

Toughest fight to date

Wilson is yet to fight anyone with as many fights as Carvalho, who is 11-4. The most experienced fighter Wilson previously faced was Mario Navarro, who was 4-5 at the time they met. Wilson submitted Navarro in the second round at Bellator 238 in January 2020

Carvalho is fresh off a failed title attempt against the reigning champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freiere. He lost via first-round knockout at Bellator 252 last November, Carvalho previously rattled off six-straight wins, including victories over Derek Campos and former UFC featherweight Sam Sicilia.

The 23-year-old Wilson is up for the challenge.

“This is probably my toughest fight to date, but I feel like I have all of the tools to beat him,” Wilson said. “He comes in pushing the pace a little too much, so we’re seeing all his holes and we’re looking to exploit them.”

Always No. 1

Wilson climbed up Bellator’s featherweight division rather quickly with three victories in 2020. He expects the same in 2021. 

Freiere is set to face No. 1 contender AJ McKee. There is no official date or venue for the matchup. 

Freire just recently disposed of No. 2 Emmanuel Sanchez via first-round submission at Bellator 255 this past Friday, April 2. Adam Borics, the third ranked featherweight, is scheduled to face No. 8 Jeremy Kennedy at Bellator 256 on Friday, April 9. 

The division is shaping up and Wilson plans to be a part of it for a long time. He expects to be ranked in the top five after a win over Carvalho.

He expects even more by New Year’s.

Wilson said, “I should be No. 1, always.”


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