by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
This past weekend one of the most anticipated clashes at 145lbs took place when Enoch “The Animal” Wilson defeated Ian Loveland for the inaugural Sportfight Featherweight Championship. With the win Wilson puts his name among the top fighters in a division that’s quickly becoming one of the sport’s best.
“I knew it was going to be a tough fight, regardless of what anybody said, I knew I was going to be the underdog in it,” said Enoch of his match with Loveland. “Ian’s a very tough kid, our fight games are a lot a like, we both like to keep a high pace and not take a step back. I knew I was going to be the stronger guy going into the fight but he’s lankier so I knew he’d have leverage and that’d even the playing field a little bit.”
Wilson continued, “It just set up for a high-pace great match-up. I gave him a high roundhouse kick to the head in the second round, which I knew disheartened him, and I took advantage of it from there. I eventually worked in, got the figure-four body lock, softened him with some punches and locked in the rear naked choke.”
When asked if the fight reflected his gameplan heading in, Enoch responded, “We pretty much anticipated that it would go like that. I just wanted to make the fight my fight and just do the opposite of what he wanted to do. To begin with he wanted to stay up so I wanted to take it to the ground, when he wanted to go to the ground I kept it standing.”
“Obviously he’s one of the guys that you don’t want to play with, so when you seen an opening you take advantage of it and finish it. He’s dangerous at every aspect of the game at any time, which I knew, so I got in a position that I was comfortable with and just capitalized on it when the time came. I have a great back game and I knew that once I got on his back he wasn’t getting me off,” added Wilson.
With the victory Enoch has now won five in a row after a somewhat shaky start to his career. As he explains, his successes and growth as a fighter has a lot to do with his team, Oregon Jiu-Jitsu.
“I feel really good,” said Wilson. “I trained like a madman, they don’t call me The Animal for nothing, and I’ve been progressing steadily because I have a great team, teammates, and coach. I felt really comfortable in the fight and I’m happy with my progression.”
Enoch further stated, “Our club not being affiliated with a lot of big names has had a hard time breaking through. I’ve beat some good guys, good names, so hopefully this will help get Scott McQuarry’s and OJJ’s names out there and people start recognizing and fearing our name ultimately. If not now, then sometime soon.”
As for his future, Enoch feels that not only does it lay in the 145lb division, but also at the weight he’s fought at most of his career, 155lbs.
“I’m also the number one contender in Sportfight for the Lightweight Title, so I plan on fluctuating between the two,” explained Wilson. “If they give me the 155lb shot as soon as I want it, I’ll take it, if not; of course I’ll defend my title at 145lbs. I’m here to defend my title and I’m in constant pursuit of the 155lb title. I love to battle, any weight, bring it.”
One name that’s been brought up as a possible future opponent for Wilson is current KOTC 145lb Champion Urijah Faber. And while nothing is signed yet, it’s a fight that Enoch would gladly take any time it came his way.
“I’m not guaranteeing anything one way or the other, the thought has definitely crossed my mind, but I’m not going to set anything in stone at this time. I’d love to fight him and I know eventually we will at some point down the line. I’d definitely love to have that title as well, nothing is set in stone but it’s definitely out there,” commented Wilson.
Enoch closed out the conversation by wanting to thank those who’ve made it possible for him to get to where he is and to also send a message to the fans. “First of all I’d like to thank Charlie, Shaolin and Joey with Vicious Fight Gear. My doctor, Ryan Nienaber with Boones Ferry Chiropractic and Massage in Wilsonville, Oregon. Gladiator Fight Gear, Troy and Gina, Hot Rod Betsy’s Tattoo and Piercing in Salem, Oregon, Manny and Renee.”
“To the fans, if you’ve liked what you’ve seen so far just keep your seatbelts on because it’s only going to get better from here. The Animal is barely unleashed, so keep your eyes open and keep supporting, it’s coming,” concluded Wilson.