Sid Wheeler Not Rattled by Late-Notice Change for Valor Fights 36

August 9, 2016

Coming off his submission win over Kendrick Miree at Valor Fights 33 in May, middleweight prospect Sid Wheeler feels it was a great bout for helping him take another step forward in his career development.

“It was a good fight, (Miree) was a tough opponent, and I feel like it pushed me to that next level that I wanted to be at,” Wheeler told MMAWeekly.com. “I’m happy I got the finish. It was late in the fifth round, and I’d like it to not be that way, but sometimes you need those kinds of fights to put you up with the big dogs.”

When it comes to fighting in the later rounds, Wheeler is comfortable going longer in a bout because that’s the way he’s been preparing his entire professional career.

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“As soon as I turned pro, we never trained for three-round fights; we always trained for five-round fights because I wanted to be a championship fighter,” he said. “It was always no less than five rounds. I feel if you’re going to be a champion, you have to train that way.”

Next up for Wheeler (5-0) is a jump up in weight class to 205 pounds to take on late replacement Gerald Meerschaert (22-8) in the main event of Valor Fights 36 on Saturday in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

Originally, Wheeler was set to face UFC vet Joe Riggs, who had to drop out due to injury. And while Wheeler would have liked to have had that original fight, he’s happy that Meerschaert stepped up and the fight will go on as planned.

“The Joe Riggs fight would have been much better on my resume,” said Wheeler. “Joe really should have worked out, but it didn’t, and things happen. I think this fight coming up will be good for me as well. Gerald is a good all-around fighter, and it will be a good win for me.”

For Wheeler, the change of opponent a couple of weeks out from the fight doesn’t alter his training too much. If anything, against Meerschaert, he’ll be able to be more on the offensive and showcase more of his game.

“I pretty much prepare for everybody the same,” Wheeler said. “It doesn’t matter who they are. I’m going to go in there and do my thing when I go in there.

“I think I can be aggressive more with Gerald than with Riggs because of his better takedowns and ground game than Gerald does. That will be the biggest change in my game plan. With Gerald, he’s going to take a lot more of my shots because I’m going to break him a lot harder.”

Regardless of whom Wheeler fights on Aug. 13, his goal is still the same: get the win, see what offers come his way, and keep moving his way up the ranks.

“I guess we’ll see what comes up,” he said. “I don’t know. I’ll take whatever fight they give me, no matter who they ask me to fight. I’ll sign the contract. As long as the money’s right, I’ll fight.”

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