by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
There are some fighters who are extremely skilled in a discipline or several disciplines, yet they don’t get much attention because they may lack the bravado to capture the fan and media attention that often facilitates a successful career. Conversely there are those fighters who may not be experts in such things, yet they are heralded for their heart, determination, and frankly…balls, in the battle.
Enoch Wilson of Oregon Jiu-Jitsu is one of the latter types of fighter.
While skilled in his own right, it’s Wilson’s intestinal fortitude that has gained him a legion of fans on the Northwest fight circuit, and thanks to exposure on MSNBC’s “Warrior Nation” earlier this year; he’s quickly becoming known nationwide.
Recently Enoch picked up his first win of 2007 after a disappointing draw earlier this against Travis Bush when the two battled it out in January for the vacant Sportfight Lightweight Championship.
Now back to his winning ways, Wilson is set to rematch Bush this upcoming Saturday night at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon for the Sportfight 155-pound title and hopefully settle their unfinished business from four months ago.
Shortly after teaching a class at the Oregon Martial Arts Club in Tigard, Oregon, Enoch spoke to MMAWeekly to discuss his recent victory, his upcoming rematch with Travis Bush, and the extremely busy summer he has planned ahead.
MMAWeekly: First off Enoch, tell us about your recent win in Ken Shamrock’s MMA Xtreme Cage Fights show in Redding, California.
Enoch Wilson: Yeah, actually about twelve days ago I fought down in Redding on an independent show, Ken Shamrock’s show. I trained with those guys [Shamrock and his IFL Lions] a while back, and this is the second show of his I’ve fought on. I fought a kid who’s actually I believe a two-time Junior Collegiate State Champion wrestler from California, a kid named Leland Gridley who was really tough, a lot tougher than I anticipated.
I came out [in the first round] and we were kind of trading on our feet a little bit, he had a little bit of boxing skills it seems like, as well as his wrestling experience. Right away he went for a belly-to-belly sup [suplex] and I just countered it and mounted him. He did a great bridge, rolled me over, [I] went for the triangle, had it sunk in, and he escaped, I transitioned into a straight [arm] bar and popped the socket in his elbow.
Actually, as I hooked his leg and brought him over backwards, I felt the socket pop like four times, and he landed and hipped out and pulled his arm out and kept fighting through. So the kid was really tough. We got back to our feet; I rocked him up against the cage, and kind of peppered him a little bit. He threw a wild right hand and actually about tagged me in the cheek [laughs], I didn’t expect it, he was playing possum and that was pretty much the end of the first round.
Second round, we came out and had a little more exchanges on our feet, he went for a tie-up and actually got a duck-under on me, kind of went to sup me and I went in for the knee bar and actually landed on him. I was going for the knee bar but he still sup’d me because the kid was really strong. We kind of scrambled, got to our feet and I caught him with an uppercut and shattered his nose.
He was kind of hunched over, and Vernon “Tiger” White was actually refereeing the fight, and I looked over at him and threw my hands up as the kid was hunched over and his knees were wobbling, and Vernon’s like giving me the, “What up?” [look] to finish it, so I tagged him with a couple of uppercut-cross combos and dropped him. When he dropped I thought he was shooting, so I sprawled, he was kind of half-unconscious, so when I sprawled, I sprawled on his head and it kind of bounced, and when it bounced up to me I thought he was turning into me and I went for the choke and Vernon stopped me saying, “No, man, the fight’s over, the fight’s over!” [Laughs]
MMAWeekly: It sounds like you were in for a much tougher fight than anyone anticipated.
Enoch Wilson: The kid was really tough. I’d like everybody to keep their eyes and ears peeled if they can for Leland Gridley. I’m sure he’ll be back and be a force to be reckoned with as he betters his skills. I don’t know if he trains with anybody, but if anybody can pick him up around Cali, definitely he’d be a great prospect in the future.
MMAWeekly: Your prospects aren’t exactly bad either at this point.
Enoch Wilson: Oh yeah, for sure. That’s why I give the kid so much props. I’ve got so much going on right now. I’m picking up a lot of techniques, fighting a lot of good guys, and proving to everyone that I am at the top of the food chain and it’s just a matter of time before I’m at the very top.
MMAWeekly: Now you were originally scheduled to face British boxer Joe Wheeler on the card. Tell our readers what happened there.
Enoch Wilson: Well, this Wheeler dude, I don’t even know the guy, didn’t know anything about him, posed a video on YouTube.com [which has since been removed by the user] that’s like four and a half minutes long just pretty much bashing me. He goes on non-stop about how he hates me – I don’t even know the dude, never met him or anything – so I don’t know how he came to the conclusion that he hates me. But he said he was going to smash my soul and how he hates Americans, and I can take the personal inflictions of slander, but when you start bashing America and Americans, you push it a little too far.
So I planned on putting a good throttling on him, and the dude is “so tough and crazy,” as he puts it, that he didn’t even show up! Nobody’s heard from him, nobody’s talked to him, and his manager can’t get a hold of him. I don’t know, he’s a capital sissy is what I’d say there. I’m not a guy who smack talks a lot, I’m not into that whole thing, but that’s the epitome of a sissy in my book.
MMAWeekly: Moving onto fighters who will show up for their fights, tell us about your upcoming rematch with Travis Bush on Saturday and what you feel will happen in the fight.
Enoch Wilson: It’s a Lightweight Title fight with Travis Bush, from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho’s Lion’s Den branch over there. We fought to a draw already in January; we were the main event, headlining the Rose Garden for the title as well. I knew nothing about him last time whatsoever. I just knew he was a tough wrestler, and that’s all he did, was kind of lay ‘n pray the last fight.
He was supposed to stand with me, we were going to trade, so hopefully he’ll say on his feet this fight a little bit more – and that’s all it will be – a little more, because he’ll get knocked down. I’m hoping to keep it on the feet. I worked a lot on my defense and my grappling itself as far as wrestling goes, so I should be able to stalemate, if not get the upper hand in this one if it comes down to that.
I’ve bulked up as well a little bit for this one as well. There was a considerable strength difference [in the last fight]. He was coming down from 175-180 [pounds] and I was coming up from 145, so I bulked up for this one and I think I’m going to match his power and wrestling ability. I really don’t think he’ll be able to offer much as far as this fight goes. So hopefully I’ll take that title as well.
MMAWeekly: Should all go well against Travis, what do you have going on afterwards?
Enoch Wilson: Actually, I’ve got something kind of on the DL [down low] right now, but I’m looking at a management contract right now and looking to sign next week for real. It’s pretty good and I’m looking at some WEC stuff, maybe Bodog as well.
I’ve got a show going on in Iowa actually. I started fighting in Des Moines when I was an armature, and they’re bringing me back and kind of do a show about me. Kind of like “The Re-Uprising of Enoch Wilson,” or whatever, so that should kind of cool. It’s a two-part show, one on June 30th and one in August sometime. I’m fighting this guy in kind of a best two out of three. We had kind of a knockdown, drag-out, fight in the armatures and it should make it pretty interesting for the fans there. So it looks promising, looks like I’ve got a lot going on, I’m going to have a real busy summer.
Also, sometime in July I also might be fighting Harris Sarmiento. They just had a show here, the Rise Fighting Championships, just had a show out here in Eugene [Oregon], my little brother, Will Shutt, actually fought on that show and TKO’d his opponent that night. Anyway, they’re having another show in July and Harris got up and called me out, and of course I stepped up and obliged. So hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to knockout one of the best stand-up guys at 155 in the MMA world.
MMAWeekly: Your little brother huh?
Enoch Wilson: Yeah, my little brother Will Shutt, he just turned pro, he’s compiled a 3-3 record as a pro. He’s an up and comer, he’s really tenacious, he brings the heat, he loves to stay up and throw down on the feet. He’s a very exciting fighter, always comes in great shape and is actually really well-rounded as well. Once he’s on the ground he’s very good, has a very good rubber guard, and is just tenacious.
Definitely look for big things coming from Will Shutt as well. He’s got the skills and now it’s just a matter of honing those and getting ring experience to where he’s comfortable in every position, and that’s what we’re doing now, he’s doing really good.
MMAWeekly: But for now big brother is the star of the show, right?
Enoch Wilson: That’s right, every dog has his day, you know? [Laughs] Stardom will happen for all of us, we have the skills and all we have to do is have the patience. But, I’m in the limelight now, so what can you do? [Laughs]
MMAWeekly: Thanks for taking the time Enoch; it’s always great to get you on the site. Is there anything you’d like to say as we head out?
Enoch Wilson: First and foremost I’d like to thank the good Lord above to making this possible for everybody. I’d like to thank everybody from OregonMartialArts.com and Team OJJ, that’s my competition team and school. Want to thank obviously my coach, Scott McQuarry, the man that made this all possible.
I’d like to thank my sponsors: ViciousFightGear.com, Gladiator Fight Ware, Ryan Nienaber and Nicole Sanders from Boones Ferry Chiropractic & Message for hooking me up and keeping me adjusted, in-line and healthy to fight. And my greatest dedication – my purpose towards striving for success and making it rich – goes to my daughter, Bella-Grace Wilson.
Anybody in the area or anybody that can make it, check out “Cinco de Mayhem” at the Rose Garden in downtown Portland at the Rose Quarter. It’s going to be awesome, Enoch Wilson versus Travis Bush: The Rematch, it will not go to the judges this time! I’m going to end it in beautiful fashion, and you’ll just how that fashion is when you come down to check it out. I’m looking to knock him out, so fellas and ladies, come watch.