The Antoni Hardonk trained Jordan Wright just made his UFC debut this past weekend at UFC on ESPN 15, and man did he look incredible! It’s always exciting learning of a new striking talent. Wright filled in for Jorge Gonzalez on short notice to face Ike Villanueva, and he quickly made it known, he’s a serious threat.
Wright landed a beautiful spinning wheel kick just ten seconds into the fight and hurt Villanueva, as he caught him right on top of his head with it. If it landed one or two inches lower, the fight may have been over right then and there.
Wright then remained in the clinch for the rest of the fight, with him forcing Villanueva’s back to the cage, and Villanueva forcing his back to the cage. In both positions, Wright landed absolutely brutal knees to Villanueva’s face and body. It was reminiscent of Fabricio Werdum’s return to the octagon when he fought Roy Nelson at UFC 143, those knees were nasty.
We saw right away, Wright has that Hardonk kickboxing style, but he also has some added techniques of his own, such as that spin kick he landed.
It’s evident, he’s been learning from a very talented striker, we could see that just from his short fight on Saturday, where he was awarded the TKO (doctor stoppage) victory just 91 seconds in due to a huge gash over Villanueva’s eye.
Wright has also trained with Vladimir Matyushenko, he has two true OG’s of the game teaching him how to fight. He’s got a professional kickboxing champion teaching him how to strike, and an NCAA Division I wrestler teaching him how to wrestle and grapple.
At 28-years-old, turning 29 in October, now is the perfect time for him to make his mark in the worlds leading mixed martial arts promotion. With an undefeated record of 11-0 (1 NC), and all eleven wins via finish, he’s got massive amounts of potential.
A few of his earlier wins aren’t as impressive, a few of those guys had numerous losses without a single win, but in his last four fights, he defeated a 7-3 opponent, an 11-4 opponent, and now a 16-10 opponent, and he had a no contest with a 6-0 opponent on the Contender Series.
Jordan Wright’s Tale of the Tape:
185 lbs (made UFC debut at light-heavyweight, weighed in at 200 lbs even)
Fighting out of Los Angeles, California
11-0 (1 NC)
6 (T)KO, 5 Submission
It’s always exciting finding new talents in the sport of MMA, especially ones that are experts in one discipline, so then we can see how they translate that to a well rounded form of fighting. We don’t know yet if Wright is an expert on the feet, but we do know he’s incredibly talented there.
We saw how good his clinch is, we saw how good and technical his knees are, and we saw one distance strike that worked very well for him. We’ll have to see him fight more to see how good he is at distance against some of the best fighters in the world, but to land a spinning wheel kick on your first strike attempt, that’s not at all an easy thing to do.
He’s not someone we’d want to move too fast, given he’s only had one fight in the UFC, but what’s next for Mr. Wright? Eryk Anders would be a good test, he’s a very good, strong athlete, but isn’t the most technical.
Anders could use his strength to keep Wright on the cage or perhaps on his back, and maybe even finish him with strikes, while Wright could fight off the clinch with his brutal knees, or maybe keep the fight at distance and pick him apart.
One other match up that makes a lot of sense is a rematch with Anthony Hernandez, the opponent he had a no contest with. Originally, Hernandez knocked Wright out in just 40 seconds, but it was overturned due to him testing positive for marijuana.
Hernandez just bull rushed him and Wright didn’t have an answer. We saw in Wright’s UFC debut, he’s a little more seasoned when he’s being rushed now. Villanueva pressured him into the fence, but as mentioned above, he was working a beautiful Thai clinch and landed a series of knees.
Maybe he’s fixed that problem, but we won’t know until we see him against tougher competition. Considering how easy of a fight he had on Saturday, perhaps he’ll make a quick turnaround?
Who would you like to see Jordan Wright face next?
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.