Ep. #115 – Westin Wilson

Westin Wilson is a Featherweight mixed martial artist who most recently competed for Mountain Force MMA. The Virginia native is one of only a few mormons to compete in the sport of mixed martial arts, and is currently training at Upstate Karate with Stephen Thompson and Ray Thompson.


Westin Wilson: Boom, we are back with the 115th edition of the quarantine cast. I’M joined by weston wilson uh without further ado i’ll, just uh i’ll bring him in hey man, how’s it going good. How are you not too bad? How are things going there, man? How is everything going with the pandemic? Uh? It’S been good, honestly uh. I live in south carolina now um and pretty conservative state. So we didn’t follow the rules that much. We only had a minor spike. I guess um, but yeah it was. It was good. I mean i trained the whole time. I didn’t. I didn’t stop training, i didn’t quarantine or anything like that. I guess you know i shouldn’t publicly say that but anyways i i did. I didn’t. I didn’t take any time off. I’M uh, i’m like the opposite. I’M in i’m in nova scotia, which i think is like the safest place, supposedly in north america and um, complete opposite, like you, can’t train you’re, not allowed doing anything. Second lockdown, it’s uh, it’s ridiculous, but uh, but man um. So man you had a huge win. Uh, how did how’d it feel to get back in there and get it done uh? Well, i haven’t gotten a fight yet um you fought in august right yeah. I found august uh on a short notice fight. You know it was um. I started live streaming so so during all this pandemic stuff and covet and everything uh, i saw that all the regional scene was hurting. I work in software, so i was like you know what i’m going to start a live streaming company and i’m going to come up with a plan to help promoters like make actual money doing digital live streaming. A lot of the services currently on the regional scene. They’Ll either charge 50 percent of revenue or hey we’ll just play pay you a f, excuse me a flat rate and then we will, you know, take all the subscriptions and everything else and get to keep all uh all the copyrights on on your your video recording. So like i can do better as a fighter and as somebody who’s worked in the industry as a promoter and stuff. It’S like, i can do better, so i created a software service, and so that’s how i start pitching to all these promotions, like hey, if you put me on i’ll just waive all my fees and you just keep 100 profit uh. So that’s how i got that fight in in august um and yeah they’re, like we got this guy. He wants to take on anybody he’s you know. 47 year old, never had an mma fight, but supposedly like a grand master and karate and a grand master champion, and i was like cool it can’t be better than any of the karate guys i trained with. I was like: let’s do it, you know it didn’t last, very long, no yeah, it’s funny uh, so i trained with stephen thompson and and coach thompson uh his dad and uh. I was in the corner before the fight and coach t is like all right. I don’t think it’s gon na last, more than 30 seconds and when they said 43 seconds was like dang it i’m sorry coach. I i failed you by 13 seconds. You were supposed to fight uh last weekend and i couldn’t find it anywhere. I was looking it up. I was like where’s this fight uh. If so, it fell through so kind of what it’s like to like prep for a fight and then have it fall apart, especially after you know a 2020 that that’s not hasn’t necessarily been the greatest. In terms of activity, yeah, so uh there’s a big fight card in utah um and i was gon na be on it. I was gon na rematch, my very first opponent, uh that i ever fought skylar frazier uh. He believes that he would have won that fight. Even though he got submitted um after like four minutes into the fight um, so he hasn’t fought in three and a half years. I’Ve only been training with top guys like before i moved to south carolina. I was trained with raymond daniels. I was training with jesus santana, like several guys were topping their individual sports uh. So i was like i don’t know how he thought this fight would go um, but i actually had to pull out of the fight two weeks before the fight, because i got a concussion, so i’m still going through concussion protocols and everything like that. But yeah the fight ended up getting scrapped all together 48 hours before the event uh because of covid. So utah had a huge spike um. They had like 4 000 k. New cases on thursday, uh weigh-ins are supposed to be friday and the promotion ended up pulling the plug uh, just because utah kind of went into a new state of emergency uh they’re at like a 25 positivity rate, so one in four people are testing positive right. Now and so they’re, just like yeah, we got ta cancel the card, so they push it back to january 16, which um i’m not sure if i’m gon na be on that card or not. I currently just got booked to fight january 9th for valor fc, so so so your your concussion, all that stuff looks good you’ll, you think that’ll be all cleared up. You’Ll get the okay before that fight. Yeah, i’m working with a couple different uh clinics, um. Right now and going through different protocols um just because it’s important to kind of get back and get safe, you know, i think too many guys that try to rush through things i mean i’m one of them for sure, uh, we’re fighters. We like to fight um and, and so like i’m doing everything i can to get back and meet those protocols. But at the same time, i i’m i’m trying to be as safe as possible and, and luckily i’ve got somebody like coach thompson in my corner, who you know he’s not gon na. Let me rush too quickly. You know he he’s the one who ultimately is like no, i don’t feel like like you’re well enough or you know, let’s, let’s take it slow, no rush, you know and so he’s the one who kind of keeps me in check, which is nice. I wanted to talk a little bit about that. I mean what sort of relationship i mean. I guess, how much does that relationship mean to you? I mean obviously the success you see with wonder boy um. So, what’s it like working with both of those guys, i mean obviously working with a guy like stephen thompson day in and day out, there’s not much. Anybody on the regional scene can offer you that that he can’t no yeah yeah. So uh i mean in terms of striking and and uh well mma in general, right so with wonderboy. It’S it’s awesome because that somebody who has fought the top of the top for so long uh, it’s just great to be able to pick his brain. Like you know, pre-fight nerves and things like that and seeing how he deals with it and and realizing like he gets nervous before fights, even though he doesn’t show it. You know like being able to talk to him about that and be like okay. So how do you overcome that? How you know uh, like what do you do in that situation and – and you know so being able to just like i’ve, been doing this sport for long enough? That the one piece i’ve always struggled with is the mental aspect that i now have that important piece right. It’S not necessarily like. Oh, this guy’s does like crazy things, and i haven’t ever seen that before because we’ve got so many talented guys in this gym and and everybody’s got like a very similar like karate background, we’ve got good wrestlers uh. We get people who come in just to get that mat time with wonder boy um that we are constantly getting different, looks, and so it’s it’s uh. The mental aspect for me has been the most important and being able to like pick his brain uh talk to coach thompson about some of these things and and and having that open relationship with with uh the communication of hey man like i don’t know why. I’M nervous for a spot like when i fought that oh and oh guy, like i, was overly nervous because, like does this guy know something that i don’t like. Why would he fight me like why, like you know and and like it was good because coach t is just like it’s okay to be nervous, he’s like, but you got nothing to fear you know, and, and so that was like, okay cool, like i’m good, i’m I’M ready, you know um, so that’s been fun and then man, like just learning like the angles and and things like that, there’s little things that that steven does, that coach thompson does you know and all the other coaches here do like they’re just little things that You’Re just like whoa, i would have never thought of that, but that little inch or that little you know going from a 45 to maybe like a 50 degree angle or whatever you know like some of that stuff just makes such a difference, um and and changes. Your game, i know for me, you know, being able to use at six one six, two at 145 pounds like being able to use my reach and be able to like be a little bit faster. Uh has really improved me as a fighter overall and because of covet, and because of like all i’ve gotten to do is train and all i’ve gotten to do is like develop and not have to worry about fighting um. I i feel like going into 2021 i’ll, be even better because there’s like new stuff that i can show off that i haven’t gone to on the on the big stages, yet his uh his mentality is, is unlike anybody i’ve ever seen. Really i mean you saw what he did. I mean he got knocked out by anthony pettis and was laughing about it on a live stream. Shortly after i mean it’s really really hard to come across guys like that who who are so positive, um – and i mean it could be a blessing, it could also have have its negatives. I mean you also want people to take it seriously too, but it really is uh, but that’s, that’s the that’s the difference right is it it’s the positivity and and even though, like you know not that that didn’t hurt like that, not that he was like you Know it wasn’t like he was like: oh, you know, uh whatever and didn’t care. It was like what are you gon na do and instead of like being negative and being down in the dumps and depressed about it? It’S like okay, this happened. It sucks, but i’m gon na move on and i’m just going to build from there, and so that, like honestly, that teaches me how to take losses better, but it also teaches me how to win better as well. You know yeah for sure i want to uh. I want to talk a little bit about someone a friend of yours and also someone who you’ve trained with uh in the past who’s competing this weekend. Um alex perez um yeah, and i also want to ask your prediction for the fight as someone who who knows them well and someone who’s trained with them. What’S your opinion on the fight and him as a person yeah so alex perez and i trained uh in california together um before i moved to south carolina’s in california um, i wasn’t part of team oyama. I was part of one jiu jitsu under jiva, and he also worked with jiva, so we would do our a lot of our training together a couple times a week. A lot of our grappling in jiu, jitsu and alex is like he’s also just a super good dude um, like i don’t know like he hasn’t gotten like the the face time. Like wonder boy has and and the exposure like wonder boy but he’s very similar in the fact that he’s just really just i don’t know, really cool, really uh, just a good teammate. You know um always there to help and support. No matter like how big he gets like he’s, he’s still real and and down to earth um in terms of like grappling dude’s good, like very good, very tenacious, doesn’t give up on on things like uh. I’Ve seen him go with with you, know, welterweights and beat or hold his own against him. You know um, we would do king of the king of the cage, where one of us would be on the cage. One of us be in on a takedown, and you know winner stays in type thing and uh that dude just like, even if, like you think you got him off, he just keeps going and keeps going until one of you breaks right and oftentimes. He would break me first um, but it’s been cool to see his progression since that joseph benavidez loss like he got his mind right. He was the one who kind of turned me on to uh some of the mental training uh. So i saw he was using a few different uh or a mental trainer uh. So i was like cool i’m gon na go through that same program. Luckily, we’ve got a coach out here who does it um at wonderboy’s, gym um, and so i was able to start working with that same program and everything – and it’s really, you know, changed my whole game and just seeing that aspect you know and seeing like. Okay, he’s spending time on all aspects, not just like the fighting, but like the mental aspect as well um, you know it was. It was cool for me to realize, like i need to invest in that, i need to pay somebody to work through some of mental. You know mental blocks that i have and then seeing his success this year and and making it to the title, um very cool. As for a prediction um, i don’t think they’ll go to the ground. I don’t uh they’re, both really good on the ground figureto. He is a heavy hitter, but i think perez is crafty enough and i think they’ll underestimate perez striking uh and they’ll end up getting getting shocked. Uh prez also got very good clinch work. If he keeps him clinched on the cage, he could grind out a five five round decision. Just clinch him on the cage. Also alex, doesn’t get tired either. So that’s another factor, i don’t know about figaretto’s cardio, i really haven’t seen a ton of figurative fights. So that’s my educated guess is you know i could see alex grinding out a decision uh over five rounds, all right, i’d like to uh kind of get back to you as well. I mean this. Sport is very unusual. I mean you hear people from all walks of life, people like diaz brothers who would fight no matter what other guys, who have kind of like an mma background. That being said, what was it that really brought you to to this sport um? So i wrestled for a really like competitive school. We were top 30 program in the nation uh. You know everybody on our team was recruited wrestling college. Everything like that, my junior year, my dad worked for my dad worked for the dea. My whole life um, the drug enforcement administration, and so we got transferred out to brazil uh the end of my junior year, and not only that i had to repeat my junior year when i got out there um and they didn’t have wrestling, and that was all I did i didn’t. I didn’t play other sports. I had no interest in other sports like i wanted to fight. I wanted to wrestle, and this was back before mma was cool. This is back before people really knew what the ufc was. This was in like 2005, 2006. um, and so my dad was like look. I can’t wrestle anymore but i’ll, let you do mma, and so i was like cool uh, so i was like a 17 year old kid just like looking, not speaking any portuguese. Nothing like that. I was like i’m just gon na go to this gym and it was a brazilian top team in sao paulo. So it’s part of the the brazilian top team and uh. So i went and i started training and then from there i was like i want to fight. I want to fight like let me fight, so i did a couple amateur like kickboxing and jiu jitsu tournaments stuff, like that they never. Let me do like full-on mma because they’re like there’s, not a lot of regulation, you’re, just gon na get hurt like no we’re just gon na protect from that so um but yeah. I was you, know kid in high school uh. I guess one of like the first generation that was like from 17 on just doing mma um. So you am, i crazy to think this. Or did i hear an interview where, where you said that you were one of the only if not the only uh mormons that actually compete so back at the time yeah there was a lot of mormons. There are a couple um, i wouldn’t say i’m the only. I think a lot of like people try to like blow that up. My whole thing is, i want to be the steve young of mma. Uh, there’s always been like mormon guys in the nfl, but nobody known like steve young was you know, like everybody knew who steve young was back in the day in the 90s right um, because that’s what i wanted to be. I was like yeah, you know, i’m a byu, grad uh. I do know that i’m the only current byu grad uh from that does mma. But there are a few of us, there’s uh. I think carson gregory or carson hardman, something like that. Uh. There is another one who just got signed uh to the ufc, but he doesn’t really talk about it that much. I won’t that won’t bring up his name um but yeah. There’S, there’s there’s not a lot of us there’s only a handful of us yeah. What’S the ultimate um, i guess um, how do i word this like? How do people in the community in the church view you i mean obviously not being many? Is that something that that’s viewed as negatively like? Oh, i go out there and i fight for a living how’s that look looked at in church yeah uh. So it’s come a long ways right. So in 2006, when i first started fighting like it was pretty frowned upon um and then, as time went on uh, you know more and more people were accepting, like even my mom and my sister, initially like they, they weren’t like exactly thrilled um. That was doing it and then there’s kind of like this. This flip, like this, this switch uh in the sport, probably around like 2000 2015, where, like the sport kind of like they, they kind of, i don’t know there was more like really high class athletes at the time. Like you know what i’m saying like there was, there was just some flip in america with mma. You know where more and more people were accepting of it, yeah and so kind of around then like uh, when i fought for bellator, and i had a ton of interviews, um and even the church like the lds church media and everything they kind of like started. Doing some interviews and pieces on me um that was when, like more and more people like started, writing me and started like messaging me like hey man, it’s really cool, like that’s an inspiration for me or you know. A lot of like kids were like hey man like i want to be able to follow my dreams like that. Like that, that’s really neat that you’re, you know, stay persistent since you’re a kid on wanting to do this and you’re able to do this and go out and reach. You know your your goals, i mean some reach the ultimate goal, but i’ll get there um, and so it was it was. It was kind of cool to see that flip uh that switch flip like overnight, almost like where it was like all of a sudden people like really cool and supportive and hey like this, isn’t necessarily a bad thing like it’s just a sport. It’S not you know. It’S violent, but it’s not like the kids got anger problems or you know that he’s this deviant person you know, like, i think, society just kind of flipped and was just like yeah. Okay, like this is a sport. You know just like football is, or basketball or wrestling. You know like it’s, not this horrific evil thing. Probably that’s not that that new york, legalized mma yeah, i mean i mean like at one point. It was like guys like chuck, liddell, tito ortiz and everyone viewed them as, like the i mean, the bad boys, the bad boys right and then you have like an era where, like george st pierre and anderson silva, these guys are exactly yeah. They said they paid away, and then you got you know your sage, north cuts and your wonder boys and um. You know that are just authentic, genuine good guys who, if you were to meet them in a crowd, you would have never thought that they were fighters. Um and and yeah so and now, like people, see like there’s different characters for sure and different types of fighters, but i think it’s diversified enough to where you know it relates to a bigger mass uh of audience right. You still got your your your. You know. Your bmf’s, like mozvidol and diaz brothers and everything else, but then you got your. You know nmfs, like sage and wonderboy. Who has the title you know, and and so it allows me to like kind of fit into where i don’t have to put on a persona or anything like that. You know you got your chelse and you have all these different personas now that people all sorts of different people can relate to you know, um. We now are an international enough sport, a big enough sport to where it doesn’t matter. What your background is. There’S a fighter that you can relate to. I want to talk a little bit about. I guess what the ultimate goal is um in your career, whether it be make as much money as i can and retire. I’Ve heard that, whether it’s you know what go compete for the ufc to be able to to share my message on the biggest stage. What is the ultimate goal for you, um yeah, so thing is with me – is uh. I make really good money outside of fighting. I just started my my live streaming company, that’s actually taking off as well um as of right. Now, it’s still a side. Hustle like i work in software as a as a product manager. I make good good money. I don’t need to fight um. I that’s not my income um oftentimes, i’ve, i’ve uh, you know, spent more money for a training camp than i’ve ever made um and, and so it’s more about legacy. For me, right, like i was told when i was 13 or 14, was when i first saw anime uh chocolate: oh, not chocolate, tea or tea, slamming evan, tanner and knocking him out like that was like one of my first experiences uh and i was like this – Is really cool like people getting paid to do this? That’S really neat uh, so i started wrestling and and from then on it’s kind of like you know. I want to do this. I want to do this. I want to do this 2005. It really started blowing up for me, like that, was the ultimate fighter, but at the same time, there’s only like 10 of us in my high school of like 4 000 kids in virginia that that you know even knew what ufc was or even liked it um And then uh, you know 2006 2007. That’S when i got to actually start doing, mma to start training um, and so during that time, though i had a lot of people say like you can’t do this, you can’t be successful like you’re, not like that athletic you’re. Not that you’re, not this you’re, not you know. So i had a lot of negativity that drove me. It was like okay, i’m gon na do this, i’m gon na. Do it. I’M gon na prove everybody wrong and it’s been cool to see steps like when i fought for belgium. I fought for lfa. You know when i fought for bigger promotions. You know it was cool to see people say like hey, you know what i was wrong. I was wrong but cool. You admitted that now for me, it’s like i got ta meet, be you know the top. I got ta reach that top it’s just. Not it’s not. Now i don’t care so much about the negativity, because i’ve done that i’ve reached. You know i appease those negative naysayers. It’S now like legacy for me. You know, like i want my kids and my grandkids and and uh. You know i want my family history. You know from my future generations. I want them to be like uh to use me as an inspiration for their life. You know like hey my dad or my grandpa, my great grandpa, like he was just this average out this average white kid who you know had no natural talent, but he worked his butt off and he reached the top. You know that’s what i want. That’S what i want. You know it’s for legacy. Now: it’s not the money. It’S not! You know. For me, it’s it’s uh, more internal. It’S it’s! I want. I want my my grandkids and kids and everything to use me as, as that you know, uh pedigree of success like i want to set the formula for them and, and they can know like whatever they want to do as crazy as it sounds. You know they. They know that it’s possible because i set that pedigree up for him. I showed him that it was possible man. I uh. I love that message and i don’t think, there’s a better message. We can end on um, so that being said, is there anybody you want to uh to thank or anyone you want to shout out before uh before we end this yeah, i mean i appreciate the time uh you gave me. You know any time. I love mma media, guys, um and people like you who are you know, helping throw our names out there and giving us the platform to speak um. So i always appreciate any time you want me on or share my opinion. I have plenty of them also. You know upstate karate, with with coach thompson. Uh wonderboy excited for his fight december 19th, um we’re in the midst of that camp right now, uh and you know uh vital performance, their response for mine, um, great collagen-based supplements, um and uh utah air guns, another company. I worked with quite a bit so yeah i mean once again i’m grateful to everybody. You know anybody who, who is a fan of the sport and and you know, follows along and and helps us be able to do what we do, because without fans and and you know, the revenue that they bring in it wouldn’t be possible for us all right. Man, i appreciate you taking the time stay safe down there and uh man all the best with you guys in this camp. I’M really looking forward to seeing uh wonderboy back in action, and i can’t wait to see your once. It’S announced yeah. Thank you. I appreciate it all right: man stay safe, all right. There you go um weston wilson been a fan of his for a little while now um. He had a rough patch there in 2019, but look forward to him uh turning things around here. Uh he’s he’s got a right camp behind him with both wonder boy thompson and his dad ray thompson. So looking forward to what’s next for him and and uh yeah, we’ll see you guys next time. If you haven’t yet make sure you donate to uh prostate cancer. Uh, obviously, i’m letting this grow a little bit. I should probably clean that up before the next one. Paul felder also grew his out too so for the exact same reason. So for awareness for men’s health, as well as prostate cancer, please donate and uh yeah be sure to like comment and subscribe, and i will see you guys next time.

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

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