by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
Enoch “The Animal” Wilson is a fighter on a mission. Simply put, he wants to be recognized one day as one of MMA’s best fighters in the lower weight classes.
Never one to back down from a challenge, Enoch’s aggressive fighting style has made him a favorite in the West Coast fighting circuit and he’s even earned an appearance on the first episode of MSN’s Warrior Nation earlier this year.
It’s an appearance that has paid off in some ways and not in others, as Wilson himself attested to MMAWeekly recently.
“Since the Warrior Nation thing I haven’t had a whole lot [of offers],” said Enoch. “Nobody really bit I guess on that apparently. I’ve had a few offers to fight in different shows and whatnot, but as far as sponsorship goes, I haven’t really obtained anything since then.”
Wilson continued, “I did get quite a bit more exposure though and everywhere I go I get recognized more. It’s pretty cool, but financially it hasn’t really paid off yet. But I guess it wasn’t all about financial [reasons] either.”
One offer that has come Enoch’s way was an invitation by an MMA legend to appear on a show he is promoting this Saturday at the Win-River Casino in Redding, California.
“It’s one of Ken Shamrock’s [MMA Xtreme Cage Fights] shows,” commented Wilson. “I actually don’t really even know the guy’s name [I'm fighting], but he’s got a big mouth. And I hope he is as tough as his mouth is big, because I’m going to punish him for what he said.”
“I’ve never seen him before, but my understanding is that he’s 10-0 as a pro boxer, but has never fought MMA. They matched us up, and apparently he wants to fight,” added Enoch.
What Wilson is alluding to is a video uploaded to the popular YouTube.com website by a friend of Enoch’s scheduled opponent, Joe Wheeler.
In the video, which has since been removed by the user since this interview was conducted, Wheeler claimed a great distain for the United States and Enoch in particular.
As Wilson explained, “This guy comes on and does like a four-minute rant on how he’s going to kill me, smash my skull in and that I better say my prayers; how he hates Americans and hates America.”
Enoch continued, with a direct statement to Wheeler, “I can take the personal slanderous inflections, but why you got to bring America into it, homey? Now you’re going to get smashed.”
Patriotism aside, with Wheeler’s reputed boxing skills the focus of his style, Wilson was asked if he intends to use the ground game to naturalize the Brit or stand toe-to-toe with him and exchange strikes.
“I would rather stand in there, trade with him and see what he’s got,” replied Enoch. “Knowing that he doesn’t have much of a ground game, I’ll leave that as an extreme back-up plan, like way back-up plan.”
“I want to stand with him, put him to sleep on his feet and let him know of what his stand-up credentials are; you come into MMA it’s a whole different ball park. So I’d like to keep it standing, and only if he opens himself up for a big throw, I could dump him on his neck or something really hard, I might think about it,” added Wilson.
After Enoch fights in Redding, he has no time to rest, as its back up to his native Oregon to settle an old score in Matt Lindland and Randy Couture’s Sportfight promotion.
“After this there’s actually ‘Cinco de Mayhem’ they’re calling it, Sportfight 19 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon [on May 5th],” stated Wilson. “I actually hold the 145-pound title now, I’m their featherweight champ, but I’m also moving up a weight class to fight at 155 to fight for the lightweight title.”
Enoch added, “Since John Gunderson went to the IFL on Ken Shamrock’s team [the Reno Lions], he relinquished the 155-pound title. So Travis Bush and I fought for that title on January 6th at the Rose Garden. We had a draw, so we’re back to the board to have a rematch to finalize this one.”
According to Wilson, the second time around will be much different than their initial meeting earlier this year.
“I’ve definitely revised my game plan and have a few tricks up my sleeve,” exclaimed Enoch. I’ve bulked up quite a bit; I’m walking around about 168-169 right now. That’s where I think I was lagging in our last fight.”
“I was coming up from 145 and he was coming down from between 170-180, so it’s definitely going to be a different scenario this time,” further stated Wilson.
Should all go well in his next two scheduled bouts, Enoch could find himself in line for a shot at the big MMA promotions. As he himself states, regardless of where he ends up, he’ll add excitement to any show he fights on.
“As long as I’m credited decently I’ll definitely put on a show,” said Wilson. “No matter what they want to pay me, they’ll get their money’s worth. I don’t believe that there’s anybody out there at the 145 or 155-pound weight divisions that I can’t hang with and beat.”
As for his motivation to want to be the best fighter in the world, Wilson says it’s all about family.
“I’m a single father; I’ve got to pave the road for my daughter,” explained Enoch. “That’s my primary concern. I’m not greedy or anything like that, I’ll take what I can get, but if I can get more, I’ll definitely take it.”
Wilson continued, “It’s just a matter of getting the opportunity to showcase and prove to people that I am going to be Number 1. And I’m on my way right now, so step up anybody, anywhere, I don’t care.”
So the coming weeks could very well be a determining factor to the remainder of the year for Enoch Wilson. He’s got two possibly very exciting fights ahead of him, and should all go well, many more to come.
“I’d definitely like to have everybody come check out the shows,” said Wilson. “If you’re in California, I believe that they’re actually sold out, but at least check out the stats, do a little chatting on the Internet. Also the Sportfight May 5th, Travis Bush and I at the Rose Garden in Portland Oregon, check that out, check the stats, pump as much of the marketing as you can.”
Enoch continued, “I want to thank OregonMartialArts.com, the school I train at; Ken Shamrock, the Lion’s Den and the IFL guys; they helped me out quite a bit. I also want to thank ViciousFightGear.com, GladiatorFightWare.com, Doctor Ryan Nienaber and Nicole Sanders of Boones Ferry Chiropractic and Massage in Wilsonville, Oregon.”
“And of course, I give all my props to my daughter, Bella-Grace Wilson, special thanks go to her because she’s the dedication and drive behind my success right now. Love you mom. To anybody else, I’m sorry if I forgot you, just because I for got you doesn’t mean I don’t love you,” concluded Enoch.