Written by @JonTPaterson
World Series of Fighting offers their debut event for 2016, taking place this Saturday, January 23rd . WSOF 27 will be hosted live from Memphis, Tennessee and main event matches between Caros Fodor/Luiz Firmino and Teddy Holder/Shamil Gamzatov. This card is loaded with local prospects from around the area and promises to be entertaining from top to bottom. In particular, a preliminary clash between Wade Johnson and Justin Hartley should be intriguing to fight fans. Justin Hartley is a Tennessee native who is relatively new on the professional MMA circuit, but who has also illustrated a knack for quickly submitting his opponents. On the other side of the cage is Wade Johnson, who will be fighting out of Barata MMA. Johnson himself is from Bradford, Arkansas – only a couple of hours from Memphis. At just 25 years old, the V3 Fights veteran has impressively compiled ten pro match-ups since 2013. Only dropping one of these fights, Johnson has a 78% finishing rate and will be looking to continue the trend on Saturday. I got the opportunity to ask Wade some brief questions coming into his WSOF debut; enjoy this exclusive interview courtesy of MMA Mad.
Jon: Hey Wade, thank you for taking the time. First of all, how did you get into mixed martial arts, and how did you find yourself involved with World Series of Fighting?
Wade: I got into MMA because I was raised with my brother, watching UFC when it all first started. He has all the DVDs, trained for a while and would teach me what he knew. I got with World Series of Fighting through V3 Fights.
Jon: Where do you train the majority of the time and how has your camp been going so far?
Wade: I train at Barata MMA which is located in Searcy, Arkansas. It’s the only gym I train at. Training is going good; had some difficulties here and there, but ain’t nothin’ I haven’t been able to overcome.
Jon: Have you made any specific adjustments to your training with this bout being your WSOF debut?
Wade: No sir, we train many styles and never stick to one thing. We try to be well-rounded and I know what game plan I have for this fight so going to try keeping to that. Excited to show everybody what kind of skills I have, and how exciting I am to watch fighting.
Jon: You’ve only been professional since 2013, but you have been extremely active in those few years. Do you have any long-term goals or aspirations in the sport?
Wade: Yea, I was pretty active for awhile then I got hurt and had to take some time off from the sport. Being injured has had a huge role in my fighting career so far. But I do enjoy doing it; I would like to see how far it will take me, my team & my coach.
Jon: Your opponent Justin Hartley is also quite new to the scene, do you know much about him or his gameplan?
Wade: I know he comes from a great gym, Nashville MMA under Shawn Hammons. He might not have as many fights as me, but he knows all he needs to know. Record does not mean anything in this sport. We are prepared for wherever the fight goes.
Jon: When you aren’t training or competing, how do you enjoy spending your free time?
Wade: I am a country boy. Between duck & deer hunting, mud racing my truck, or just me and my son riding through the bottoms while listening to music. We like to have tailgates and bonfires. We also go Yo Yo fishing a lot. I’m from a small town that’s what I was raised doing and wouldn’t change it. My son is my world as he does everything with me, from mudding to training with me every night.
Jon: Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions Wade; feel free to give any shout-outs to family or sponsors!
Wade: I want to give a huge shout out to the one the only William McGlothlin. He goes above and beyond for us. He is a father figure; looks out for our best interests and prepares us for the cage and everything in the real world. I want to thank my teammates they push me passed my limits, even when they don’t think they are. I want to thank my sponsors, White Oak Construction, MMK Kennels, James Carlson Construction, jamakme tan, Charlie’s auto paint and body, Absolute Roofing and Construction, Platinum Jewelers, Excel Ford, W&D Construction. There are some missing and I’m sorry but thank everyone!
Once again, WSOF 27 takes place this Saturday, January 23rd live from Memphis, Tennessee. The main card will begin at 10PM EST/7PM PST. For more information on this event, please check out the following;