September 20th 2016
Name – James Wallace
Nickname – Jesse James
Weight – 155 pounds
Record – 3 wins 1 loss
Team – Memphis Judo and Jiu Jitsu
Where are you from ?
Horn Lake, MS.
How long have you been training ?
I started when I was 15. About 9 years now.
How did you get in to MMA ?
One of my best friends step dad Steven Gaines introduced me to it. Showed me a few things and them took me to my first gym. He said I was a natural and should stick with it. I’m glad I did.
Tell us about your nickname how you got it ?
My coach at my first gym just said I had my own style and my own way of doing things. Kinda like the outlaw Jesse James. He said it one day in class and it just stuck with me.
What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter ?
The moment I won my first fight. I knew this was for me. I made small goals and slowly reached them and now I’m about to fight for Bellator. I’ve come a long way and plan to keep going.
Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to enter the world of MMA ?
I know my close friends were but my family didn’t really know what it was. I had to earn their trust but now my family and friends support me the most
What is your current record ?
As a professional I am 3-1.
What is your favorite strike or submission ?
My favorite strike is the right uppercut and favorite submission is the triangle choke.
Who is your biggest inspiration ?
It’s close between Steven Gaines who got me started and is no longer here and my wife and daughter. They are my number one fans.
What team do you train with ?
I train with Memphis Judo and Jiu Jitsu.
Do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground ?
I like to go to the ground but I have no problem getting the job done on the feet either.
What does being a fighter mean to you ?
Well it’s really who I am. It’s the toughest sport in the world. It’s takes so much discipline and dedication when it all comes together with a win in the cage there is nothing like it
What weight do you fight at ?
Right now I compete at 155.
what do you think separates you from other fighters In your division ?
I think my ability to finish fights. As soon as the fight starts I’m looking for the finish. To many guys do just enough for a decision win. I want to finish the fight.
If you could have one dream fight who would it be against ?
Have to be Donald Cerrone or Frankie Edgar. They are my favorite fighters so it would be fun to see how I stack up.
Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
Ryan Collins my first loss. I took some damage in that one.
What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
Finish the fight. Find a way to win.
Who are you fighting next ?
what holes or weaknesses do you see in your opponents game that you can exploit ?
Well he is pretty well-rounded and well experienced but I believe when we get in there I will find a way to finish the fight like I always do.
What promotion are you fighting for ?
Date and time of your next fight ?
October 21st at the FedEx Forum.
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
As a guy who put it all out there every fight going for the finish.
What is your favorite quote or motto ?
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard, but when talent works hard that’s dangerous.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
I still have a lot to do in my career but I would say winning my pro debut in my home town and putting my opponent to sleep in the process.
Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
My team at Memphis judo and Jiu Jitsu as a whole. We are a family. I didn’t start there but they welcomed me and we all push each other.
Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport and why ?
Of course the Gracie’s introduced Jiu Jitsu but Connor Mcgregor has changed the game. You see people imitating him all the time now.
How would you describe your fighting style ?
Finisher with a Jiu Jitsu base.
What drives or motivates you ?
My wife and my daughter motivate me everyday. My wife keeps my daughter so I can stay late at the gym. It’s hard being away training so much but she understands and makes sure I’m taken care of.
When you are not in the gym training what do you enjoy doing in your free time ?
My daughter keeps me pretty busy but I do like spending time with my close friends and even playing xbox with them sometimes.
What advice can you give to young fighters and those who want to become fighters ?
This career choice is a marathon not a sprint. You have a lot to learn. If you’re in this to get rich you better get out now!
What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
I would have pursued my baseball career further and had more time to devote to it. So that or a police officer since I have a criminal justice degree.
What gets you hyped up for a fight do you have any pre fight rituals that get you ready to step in the cage ?
I like to listen to my music and be with my team. I walk around and see family and fans but then I go to the back and get focused in.
Where do you see the sport of MMA in 5 years ?
Gotta keep growing. More fighters will be household names.
Who is your favorite fighter ?
Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to ?
My family and friends who have supported me since day one, my team and coaches at Memphis Judo and Jiu Jitsu, and you for taking the time to interview me!
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