Long Island’s Chris Wade enters the Professional Fight League (PFL) 10 million dollar tournament on Thursday, June 21, 2018, when he walks into the cage in Chicago, Illinois against Brazilian Natan Schulte at PFL 2. Wade (12-3) is scheduled to fight Schulte (11-3) in the third bout of the evening on the PFL 2 prelims.
Wade, 30, a native of Islip, New York, is eager to get back inside the cage and fight once again. The former UFC lightweight last fought in July 2017 against Frankie Perez defeating him for the second time in his career, this time in front of his friends and family on Long Island at the Nassau Coliseum. The victory over Perez improved Wade’s record to 12-3 overall and 5-2 under the Ultimate Fighting Championship banner.
Now fighting for PFL, formally known as World Series of Fighting (WSOF), Wade is among 72 fighters on the overall PFL roster that will be competing in a 10 million dollar tournament. There are ten weight classes, each weight class competing for a million dollar grand prize. What makes this PFL league even more unique, is that they are implementing a regular season, a post-season and an off-season. Fighters may take personal time off, or just not receive a call to fight, but there has never been a scheduled off-season in MMA history. An off-season will allow fighters to take time off to recover, heal injuries, and most of all, spend time with their families.
“You want New York, [Mike] Francesa, talking about the playoffs coming up for MMA,” Wade said to MyMMANews.com.
The former collegiate wrestler believes the playoff format that PFL is implementing will be crucial to the evolution of MMA. Wade compares MMA to the NFL, NHL, NBA and other American professional sports, and the major role playoffs play in their success. “These are pipe dreams right now, but for this to sustain beyond a 20-year stint, where fighting is basically new, we need to transfer over to something else, where you’re not on call 24/7. The way it exists in other organizations, you got to train the whole year, beating your body up, because they may call you any day and say ‘Hey, you got three weeks’, you’re like a “HITMAN,”.
Wade explains the way PFL structured the tournament. After going to Florida for orientation, he explains it’s like a high school or college wrestling tournament. Each win throughout the regular season will be worth points. Depending on how the victory occurs ((T)KO, Submission, Decision), points will be awarded accordingly. After the regular season ends, seeding will be done for the playoffs based on the number of points each fighter has accumulated over the regular season. The Top eight fighters make the playoffs, being seeded one through eight, while seeds nine and ten are an alternate fight, incase of injuries.
|OUTCOME-BASED SCORING:||BONUS FOR EARLY WIN:|
|WIN = 3 POINTS||ROUND 1 = 3 POINTS|
|DRAW = 1 POINT||ROUND 2 = 2 POINTS|
|LOSS = 0 POINTS||ROUND 3 = 1 POINT|
FIGHTER WINS FIRST FIGHT BY A KO IN ROUND 1 = 6 TOTAL POINTS
Pay throughout the regular season is based on the individual fighter’s contract he or she negotiated with the Professional Fight League. Once the playoffs roll into play, the Million Dollar prize for winning the tournament will be the ultimate goal, but there are payouts along the way. Below is the structure of the Playoff payouts.
|QTR FINAL LOSS: |
|SEMIFINAL LOSS: |
The PFL lightweight fighter in Wade brought up an important health topic many professional fighters are surprisingly not discussing. CTE and the long-term affects MMA fighters will suffer has yet to be really discussed in-depth. When the scandal with the NFL about CTE broke loose, the President of the UFC, Dana White made it clear he was donating money, but let’s face the facts. Donating money isn’t enough to help fighters that are only being paid pennies compared to the organization’s hundreds of million’s of dollars being grossed each year.
Think about it, promotions are asking top athletes to cut weight to fight at nearly 15-20lb’s less than their natural body weight. Now, you have athletes dehydrated and punching each other in the head. Any sort of Knockout or TKO is certainly a concussion for the athlete. NFL players are all hydrated athletes at their peak condition performing and still suffering severe head injuries. Wade made a solid point when comparing NFL and MMA. If NFL players were asked to cut weight like MMA fighters, the football field would be littered with bodies.
Wade, a former junior college All-American, placing second in the NCJAA nationals while attending Nassau Community College has been enjoying training camp thus far, with just about three weeks remaining until the fight. The Former New York State High School wrestling champion also placed fifth at the NCAA Division 3 nationals while attending SUNY Oneonta. The Islip High School graduate mentions how he enjoys sticking to his roots in wrestling, but loves exploring and proving himself in other facets of mixed martial arts.
The Long Island MMA fighter, Chris Wade expresses his excitement throughout the interview. He’s excited for the opportunity to fight with PFL and believes many of the fighters on the roster are hungry, passed over in many cases, and “have a chip on their shoulder”. Wade is an exciting fighter with loads of potential. A strong wrestling pedigree and solid kickboxing, Wade can finish a foe at any point in the fight. He’s proved he can steal a submission while grappling with the best and can embrace the grind in fights against the toughest opponents. Unfortunately, while with the UFC, he didn’t fight as often or nearly as much as he’d have liked to, but with the past in the rearview mirror, this proud Long Islander seeks to score bonus points in his first fight of the regular season in the Windy City on June 21, 2018.
Watch the whole interview with Chris Wade and hear what he has to say about several important topics.
“Dismantle him, Maul him,” Said Chris Wade, when talking about what fans can expect from his fight on June 21, 2018, at The Chicago Theatre, in Chicago, Illinois.
The PFL 2 pre-fight show starts airing at 5:30 PM EST and the Prelims start airing on Facebook Live at 6 PM EST from The Chicago Theatre in Chicago. The main card begins at 9 PM EST on NBC Sports Network. PFL 2 is headlined by American, Will Brooks (18-4) and the Brazilian, Luiz Firmino (20-8). American Judo Olympian, Kaya Harrison (0-0) will make her mixed martial arts debut on the main card as Harrison is set to battle Brittney Elkin (3-4) in a female lightweight bout.